The Tennessee Titans are adding to their offensive line. Former Rams offensive guard Rodger Saffold will join the Titans via NFL free agency.
Earlier in the offseason, I highlighted offensive guard as a need for the Tennessee Titans. Almost as if they read my article, Tennessee is adding former Los Angeles Rams guard Rodger Saffold. The nine-year veteran will ink a 4-year, $44 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed. Before coming to Tennessee, Saffold spent all nine seasons with the Rams, after being drafted 33rd overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Why Saffold is getting a big deal from the Titans
NFL free agency is a time for teams to spend big at positions of need. That is exactly what the Titans are doing with Saffold. The durable veteran turns 31 this season, and will take the spot of Quinton Spain when he is cut. While I personally think $22.5 million guaranteed is too high for Saffold, I can’t argue with his durability. In the past 3 seasons, Saffold has missed just two games and has started every game he’s appeared in. He brings versatility to the Titans offensive line, and has NFL experience playing both tackle and guard positions. The Titans desperately needed interior offensive line help, and that is precisely what they are getting in Saffold. Even if it comes at a high price.
What can Saffold bring to the Titans?
Saffold, a former tackle, brings incredible size to the Titans’ offensive line. He is enormous, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 323. Saffold drops the anchor well in pass protection and is difficult to move. He is a bit slower in the run game, but has the ability to create gaps through driving through opposing defenders. Arguably more importantly for the Titans, Saffold brings invaluable leadership. He has played in a Super Bowl, something the majority of the Titans offense can’t relate to. Saffold has also demonstrated his work ethic. In March of 2014, Saffold was set to become an Oakland Raider, but failed his physical. In the span of 24 hours, he signed a new deal with the Rams. Since then, Saffold has switched positions and become a staple on one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. He will bring this toughness and maturity to Tennessee.
What does signing Saffold mean for the Titans?
The Titans have been quiet but busy thus far in NFL free agency. They have re-signed safety Kenny Vaccaro. They’ve added wide receiver Adam Humphries and veteran pass rusher Cam Wake. Signing Saffold further confirms my belief that the Titans are dead set on trying to win now. Marcus Mariota is entering the last year of his contract, and Mike Vrabel is doing everything in his power to give him the chance to succeed. Saffold upgrades the left guard position and therefore gives Mariota better protection. If the Titans aren’t happy with the results of the 2019 season, they can cut bait and move on from Mariota in 2020, behind a stacked quarterback class.