The New England Patriots aren’t the only playoff team from last year that has had to part ways with some of their established veterans in the name of cap space this offseason. The Tennessee Titans have parted ways with a name that should get plenty of Patriots fans interested.
The Patriots had a respectable offensive line last season, but there is a chance that their continuity gets completely upended at the end of this offseason. Isaiah Wynn could be a trade target to create space, and Shaq Mason’s spot is far from guaranteed due to his financial demands. Trent Brown is not guaranteed to return either.
If the Patriots want to explore the free agent market for a veteran who could take a slightly more cost-effective deal in pursuit of a championship, they could try to call Rodger Saffold. After a few solid seasons in Tennessee, the Titans decided to release him in the name of cap space.
Saffold was just named a Pro Bowler for the first time in a very solid 12-year career. One of the more instrumental figures in Derrick Henry’s rise to the very top of the running back totem pole, Saffold joining the Patriots would give them a reliable starter that can help open up holes for Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.
Could the New England Patriots sign Rodger Saffold?
Saffold spent nine years with the Rams in St. Louis and Los Angeles, showcasing tackle/guard versatility and strong run-blocking skill. While he generally flew under the radar, he did eventually grab a second-team All-Pro nomination before moving to Tennessee.
While getting Mac Jones more perimeter talent could be one way to ensure he doesn’t experience a sophomore slump, beefing up the offensive line isn’t a bad plan of attack either. In 853 snaps last season, Saffold was flagged just once every 3.4 games and conceded just two sacks all year long.
One of either Wynn or Mason (likely Mason) would have to be discarded to afford Saffold, as a player coming off of a Pro Bowl season is likely not going to accept a vet minimum contract. They may need to jump through some hoops to sign him, but he should be a masterful road-grader for the playoff run.
The Patriots saw that their aggression during the last offseason is what helped them turn from an average team into a playoff fixture, as Hunter Henry and Matt Judon played impactful roles. Going for broke and getting Saffold should be a move Belichick considers if he wants a quick upgrade.