The Tennessee Titans waived guard Rodger Saffold on Thursday in order to free up $10.4 million in salary budget space. Saffold, who just turned 34 has recently been selected to play in his first Pro Bowl.
Saffold is widely recognized as a top guard in the NFL due to the fact that he has started 157 games throughout his professional career, the fourth-most among all interior offensive linemen currently in the league. He has been in the spotlight for the playoffs every year since 2017, most notably in 2018 and 2019, when the Rams and Titans both advanced to the Super Bowl.
Is Rodger Saffold good?
Currently, Saffold is one of the most sought-after names in the free-agent guard market.
Instead of focusing on Saffold, the New York Jets should look elsewhere to bolster their offensive line.
Saffold was a below-average performer in 2021 but still made the Pro Bowl.
Appearances in the Pro Bowl are a highly inaccurate indicator of a player’s ability and effect. Pro Bowl selections are sometimes given out for reasons other than a player’s performance that season, such as to make up for the player’s lack of recognition in past years.
Because of the notoriety, they gained during their years of underappreciated excellence, these athletes will likely continue to receive Pro Bowl nods despite the fact that their current performance does not merit it.
It’s like that with Saffold. He played guard for the Rams and Titans for a long time and was a Pro Bowl-type player, but he was never given his due. Even though his play had started to drastically decline at the age of 33, Saffold was able to build enough name recognition to receive the necessary votes in 2021.
Among 68 eligible guards, the 12-year veteran ranked 47th with a pressure rate of 5.57% after allowing 26 pressures on 467 pass-blocking attempts.
This occurred despite the fact that Saffold and the Titans’ offensive line received a great deal of assistance from Tennessee’s style of play. Titans quarterbacks had the third-lowest average time on the field (2.56 seconds) with the ball in their hands.
When taking into account how long each player’s quarterbacks holds the ball, Saffold’s adjusted pressure rate of 5.93% placed him 53rd out of 68 qualifiers.
Saffold’s pass protection received an even lower mark from Pro Football Focus’s grading system, earning him a 44.8 overall and placing 61st out of 68 qualifiers.
This is the second straight season in which Saffold’s pass protection has significantly declined from the previous year. From 2012 to 2019, while he was fully healthy, he earned a PFF pass-blocking grade of 70 or higher every year. In 2020, Saffold was ranked 44th out of 60 qualifiers for his performance in pass blocking with a grade of 56.5%.