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Report: Unhappy Rodger Saffold won't hold out, open to trade

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

Rodger Saffold has one year left on his rookie contract at $880,000. (USATSI)

We don't know if Rodger Saffold ever returned Jeff Fisher's calls, but the Rams tackle apparently has decided not to hold out and will attend the offseason conditioning program that begins Monday.

The news comes via Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas, who wrote “those close to Saffold insist he won't be a malcontent and won't be a holdout.”

Saffold, 24, is unhappy. After doing a solid job at left tackle the first three years of his career, he's being moved to right tackle to make way for four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long. The Rams last month gave Long a four-year, $34 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.

Saffold, who has one year left on his rookie deal, expressed his displeasure through agent Alan Herman.

“[Left tackle] is his position,” Herman said recently. “It's a paying position in the league. He's played left tackle his whole life since he was a little kid. Why would he want to move to the other side?”

When Rams officials called Saffold following Long's signing, they couldn't reach him.

“We've been trying to reach Rodger, and he's not returning calls right now,” Fisher said, according to the paper. “But we'll get things settled, and Rodger's a big part of our future and a big part of our plans on offense.”

Saffold's reps have told the Rams he is not opposed to a trade, Thomas reports.

Thomas floated a scenario in which the Rams draft a tackle at No. 22 overall, then trade Saffold. Alabama's D.J. Fluker, Florida State's Menelik Watson and Virginia's Oday Aboushi have visited or will visit the Rams. All project as right tackles.

If the Rams don't make a move, they can focus on finding a left guard to join Long, center Scott Wells, right guard Harvey Dahl, and soon-to-be right tackle Saffold on what could be an outstanding line.

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