Jared Veldheer will be 27 years old by the start of next season. The 6-foot-8, 322-pound left tackle was limited to five games for the Oakland Raiders this past season after undergoing surgery on his left triceps in training camp and agreed to a five-year, $35-million deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
Rodger Saffold turns 26 this summer. The 6-4, 312-pounder was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams to be their cornerstone left tackle, but injuries – knee, pectoral, shoulder, head – have contributed to him being used at right tackle and guard in his career. He agreed to a five-year, $42.5-million deal, with $21 million guaranteed, to come to Oakland.
On the surface, it does not seem like an even swap, given Saffold’s injury history and being seen more as a versatile piece to the offensive line than as a building block, and the Raiders paying Saffold more than Veldheer will receive in Arizona
But, as ESPN.com Rams reporter Nick Wagoner wrote, “Last season, Saffold's greatest value came in his versatility as he began the season at right tackle but stepped in on the left side when Jake Long suffered a knee injury and also started six games at right guard. While Saffold played well at tackle, he flashed Pro Bowl promise at guard.”
Saffold has not played a full season since his rookie year in 2010 and has missed 17 games over the past three seasons. He's started 44 of the 47 games in which he’s played.
Veldheer tweeted the following:
Thank you #raidernation for 4 great years. You guys are awesome. I was blessed that Mr. Davis brought me into your community.
— Jared Veldheer (@Veldheer68) March 11, 2014