The Buffalo Bills made several roster moves on Monday, March 10, but the signing of former Tennessee Titans guard Rodger Saffold caused an absolute frenzy on Twitter. By signing the Pro Bowler, Bills general manager Brandon Beane made good on his promise that the team’s No. 1 priority this offseason would be figuring out a way to better protect quarterback Josh Allen.
“First thing, I’m going to try and protect [Allen],” Beane said during his end-of-season press conference. “I have to make sure the o-line is set and that we’re confident in them.”
By signing Saffold to a one-year deal, per Bills Wire, the franchise has added a quality starting lineman to play alongside veterans Dion Dawkins and Mitch Morse, the latter of whom signed a two-year extension with the Bills on Monday.
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The reaction from Bills Mafia on Twitter after learning Buffalo signed the 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman was of absolute excitement. One fan tweeted, “This could signal the Bills are pushing their chips into the center of the table this season. Super Bowl or bust.”
NFL Network’s Mike Girardi was also impressed by Buffalo’s latest move. Girardi tweeted, “Terrific run blocker who has dealt with a pesky shoulder injury. To me, reinforces the notion of what McDermott wants his team to be on offense. More power to take a little of the burden off Allen.”
While numerous fans expressed concern over Saffold’s age, as the former second-round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft turns 34 in June, based on his 2021 NFL season, during which he earned his Pro Bowl honor, he’s still playing at an elite level. Over the past six years, he’s only missed five games, per SB Nation.
As for what position he will play with the Bills, Saffold said he thinks he’ll be in at left guard but will be ready to play any spot.
Saffold Says He Chose Buffalo Because He Sees Them as a ‘Super Bowl Contender’
Spectrum New 1 Buffalo reporter Jon Scott tweeted, “Rodger Saffold says he’s signed with the #Bills because he sees them as legit Super Bowl contender. Adds relationship with Aaron Kromer also helps, noting how great the OL in LA was under Kromer with Saffold and others.”
Kromer, who returns to Buffalo this season as their offensive line coach, worked with Saffold during two seasons of the guard’s nine-year stint with the Los Angeles Rams, from 2017 to 2018.
Another reason Saffold chose Buffalo was due to the fact that “he can already tell the culture in Buffalo is something special,” Bills Wire reporter Maddy Glab tweeted. “He got to take a tour of the facilities and says they are top notch and can’t wait to use them.”
Saffold also mentioned that he’s already friendly with numerous players on the Bills roster. Not only does have relationships with both Morse and Dawkins, but he’s also friends with the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, Stefon Diggs.
Saffold Said He Took a 1-Month Rest to Heal His Shoulder
One of the biggest concerns regarding Saffold will be to make sure he’s healthy. The veteran dealt with lingering “numbness” which caused him to be unable to finish multiple games, an issue Saffold said he’d deal with this offseason.
“It’s just kind of like, How can we manage it?” he said in December. “I’ve got to grind through it. My team isn’t going to be playing in the Super Bowl while I’m sitting over there like, ‘Go guys!’… I’ve got to play.”
It’s that kind of determination, however, that makes him an inspiring leader in the locker room. Titans Wire reporter Mike Moraitis wrote of Saffold, “Yes, Saffold did struggle in pass protection and with injury in 2021, but he’s also been a great leader and asset upfront overall for the Titans during his three seasons in Nashville.
On Monday, Saffold addressed his shoulder injury, noting that he’s taken the necessary steps to start the 2022 NFL season at full health.
News 1 Buffalo reporter Jon Scott tweeted, “Rodger Saffold says for the first time in his career he took a month off from training following the season as way to help shoulder injury that nagged him all last year. Doctors told him injury not bad enough for surgery, so this was route he took.”