During the 2013 preseason, tackle Rodger Saffold dislocated his shoulder. He missed one preseason game with the injury. But he returned and played.
He missed four regular-season games, but not because of the shoulder. A knee injury suffered in Week Two kept him sidelined for Week Three through Week Six.
Saffold played in the final 10 games of the season, starting the last seven. The shoulder wasn’t a problem. Indeed, the Rams wanted to re-sign him and, now that the Raiders have pulled the plug on his contract, the Rams will indeed do just that.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains that the Raiders decided Saffold needs “immediate” surgery on the shoulder. Saffold’s agent, Alan Herman, isn’t happy about that.
“Rodger told us that the Raiders’ doctor examined him and said, ‘You’re fine,’” Herman told Thomas. The next day, the Raiders said otherwise, with G.M. Reggie McKenzie apologizing, as Herman said, “profusely” for the decision not to proceed with a contract.
“I shared my displeasure in very strong terms,” Herman said. “[Co-agent] Jared [Fox] and I were sitting there in disbelief. We got out of the building and we got back to the hotel.”
Mike Silver of NFL Media reports that owner Mark Davis made the decision to move on from Saffold because of the shoulder. Whether that’s because Davis is merely being too cautious or decided that the Rams were paying too much, the Rams already have welcomed Saffold back with open arms — despite his supposedly bad shoulder.
Regardless of the reason, it’s a bad look for Davis and the Raiders. Either the doctors don’t realize that the shoulder problem wouldn’t have affected Saffold’s ability to play (the Seahawks signed defensive end Michael Bennett last year with a torn rotator cuff, and that worked out pretty well) or Davis is too concerned about money to take a calculated risk, even if McKenzie was recommending that the Raiders proceed with the deal.
As to McKenzie, Silver suggests he could be gone before the draft. If McKenzie survives until May, it’s hard to imagine he’ll still be around in January. At this point, McKenzie may not want to be.