If the Rams sign tackle Jake Long on Wednesday, it will take one left tackle off the market.
It might also lead to another one coming back onto the market. Bob Glauber of Newsday reports that current Rams left tackle Rodger Saffold would “likely” ask for a trade if the Rams and Long come to an agreement.
Saffold’s rationale is easy to understand. He’s set to become a free agent after next season and left tackles are generally paid more handsomely than their offensive line brethren. Whether Saffold was moved to right tackle or guard, something that was bandied about last season, he’d lose a potential chance to cash in as a free agent.
But there’s a reason why the Rams are in the market for Long’s services and it isn’t that Saffold was so great at left tackle that the Rams couldn’t pass on a chance to see how he played other positions. Without other moves, it would also be hard to see them deciding to trade Saffold without an overwhelmingly tempting return.
He’s making $880,000 in 2013 and the Rams would be a better overall line with Long at left tackle and Saffold at another post on the line. Saffold could make things difficult, but he has very little leverage to force a trade.