ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams guard Rodger Saffold dressed in all black before Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
“I was coming to a funeral — that’s why I was dressed this way,” Saffold told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
He hoped to bury the Raiders that afternoon. That mission was accomplished, with a 52-0 thrashing at Edward Jones dome.
“I think we pretty much achieved that,” Saffold told the newspaper.
The outcome brought joy to someone who was a Raider for a day or so. Sort of. Saffold was the Raiders’ prize from the first day of free agency, having accepted a five-year, $42.5-million contract from the Silver and Black.
They invited his family to Alameda for a big introductory press conference after formally signing his contract. Assuming of course, that he would pass a physical. He failed. Sort of.
Raiders trainers told Saffold he had passed, but informed the team he would require shoulder surgery that would keep him out until training camp. That was a red flag for owner Mark Davis who, according to information from sources at the time, had a heavy hand in general manager Reggie McKenzie ultimately rescinding the contract offer.
The Rams took no issue with Saffold’s shoulder, and his former team locked him up on a five-year deal worth less money.
While he kept it publicly cool during the week, Sunday was another matter. Saffold wanted a bit of revenge for the awkward ordeal that ruined his first free-agent experience. He certainly got it.
“It was everything you’d want out of the type of situation that I was in,” Saffold said. “So I was real excited to go out here and get this ‘W.’ I had no idea it was going to be like this. But defense played great, offense played great. I wish we would’ve got 76 points on the board, but that’s OK.”
Saffold’s shoulder problems weren’t a mirage. He will get it surgically repaired this offseason, though he’s played with the pre-existing ailment all season long. Saffold has exited a few games, including Sunday, with shoulder problems, but he has returned the following week and is expected to do so again.