The Raiders lost both of their priority free agents in LT Jared Veldheer and DE Lamarr Houston within the first 10 minutes of free agency, today, with the two signing with Arizona and Chicago, respectively.
To offset the loss of Veldheer, the Raiders signed 25 year old Rodger Saffold, previously of the St Louis Rams.
Saffold, a second round pick (number 33 overall) in 2010, agreed to a deal with Oakland for five years and that would have a max value of $42.5 million. The guaranteed money is a much more reasonable $21 million.
Saffold was drafted to play left tackle but has struggled at times. Last season he played in 12 games, mostly as a guard. He hasn’t played in all 16 games since his rookie season in 2010.
In an amusing coincidence, Saffold was drafted to replace LT Alex Barron in the Rams. Last year, the Raiders signed and tried to use Alex Barron as their LT once Jared Veldheer went down with injury.
Note: There are some conflicting reports indicating that the Raiders signed Saffold as a guard instead of a tackle. This seems unlikely to me and there is no corroboration outside one report from Tony Softi.