The offseason for the Los Angeles Rams could be the most important one in recent years if they look to return to the Super Bowl, and the biggest issue may be whether to resign guard Rodger Saffold. Saffold is the longest tenured Ram after being drafted in the second round, 33rd overall, in 2010. He experienced multiple losing seasons including a two-win team before Sean McCvay became head coach in 2017. Saffold solidified the left guard position as a consistent run blocker and pass defender.
“What he enables us to do both in the run and the pass,” McVay said, “the combination of his athleticism, his ability to get to the second level, play in space, but then also play with power, get removal at the line of scrimmage.”
Saffold will most likely be the best free agent guard on the market which will drive up his price, but he is not the best available. The Rams are better off letting Saffold go as there are more important free agents to sign on the defensive side of the ball. They can find a replacement for Saffold in the first or second round of the draft. Oklahoma linemen Cody Ford can play guard or tackle which would give the offensive line some flexibility or Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom who looks like a pro-caliber player in run and pass protection.
Drafting instead of resigning saves money for free agent stars such as Ndamukong Suh and Lamarcus Joiner. The Rams won’t be able to resign everyone, but the 19th overall defense in the league needs more help than the second overall offense. The rams rush attack ranked third in the league at 140 yards per game and fifth in passing at 282 yards per game
Losing Saffold could hurt the rams offense, but losing star defensive players will hurt an already susceptible Rams’ defense. Not the mention that the Los Angeles Rams have been praising their Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen for the past years. Even though it would be a risk to potentially have them both on the line if they replace both Saffold and John Sullivan, it would not surprise me to see these two young stars start their journey on the line with two of the best in the league. Those two players being Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein.