Rodger Saffold’s failed physical with the Raiders cost him millions.
Minutes after the start of free agency on Tuesday, Saffold agreed to a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the Raiders that included $21 million guaranteed. But after the Raiders said on Wednesday that Saffold failed his physical, Saffold quickly agreed to a new deal with the Rams.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Saffold’s new contract is a five-year, $31.7 million deal that includes $19.5 million guaranteed. So the failed physical cost Saffold $1.5 million in guaranteed money, and $10.8 million over the length of the five-year deal.
Saffold does have the option to void the deal after three years, so if he plays well through 2016 it’s possible that he’ll end up hitting free agency in 2017 and making more money in the long run. But at the moment, that failed physical looks costly.
And it’s still unclear what was really behind Saffold’s failed physical. Saffold played the entire 2013 season for the Rams with a shoulder injury, and the official word from the Raiders is that the shoulder is why he failed his physical. But the Rams know Saffold’s medical status better than anyone, and they obviously think he’s going to be just fine. And Saffold claims the Raiders’ doctor told him after the physical that he was going to be cleared.
It’s possible that the Raiders are just using the failed physical as a cover story, and that the truth is they decided after initially agreeing to the contract that they didn’t want to pay Saffold that much money. That’s not a good look for the Raiders, who have tens of millions to spend under the salary cap but aren’t showing a lot of urgency about actually spending it.