NY Jets sign Pro Bowl OL after missing out on no-brainer trade

How good is Rodger Saffold?
NY Jets, Rodger Saffold
NY Jets, Rodger Saffold / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

The NY Jets have made an offensive line move! While the team opted against making any trade-deadline deals, the Jets have signed Pro Bowl offensive guard Rodger Saffold to their practice squad.

Saffold has actually made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons, first with the Tennessee Titans in 2021 and then with the Buffalo Bills in 2022.

The 13-year NFL veteran comes with 173 career starts, most of which have come at left guard. He has played four of the five offensive line positions in his NFL career, although he's never played center.

Saffold may have made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons, but there's a reason he was available in late October. Despite his Pro Bowl domination in 2022, he wasn't particularly very good.

Is Rodger Saffold a good addition for the NY Jets?

Saffold started 16 games at left guard for the Bills in 2022, finishing with a dreadful 44.0 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 53rd out of 54 qualified offensive guards. He was penalized a total of 10 times, which ranked sixth among all NFL offensive linemen.

Saffold was not especially effective in his role with the Bills last season, but he was one of the top names available in a razor-thin free-agent offensive line market. It should be noted that Saffold was a lot better in his 2021 season with the Titans.

The Jets seem increasingly confident that rookie Joe Tippmann will be available to play in Week 9, which could mean we see Saffold immediately inserted into the starting lineup at right guard. That said, Saffold has not played a snap at a position other than left guard since 2016.

Other options include backup tackle/guard Billy Turner or practice squad elevation (and Week 8 hero) Xavier Newman. Jason Poe is also an interior offensive line option on the team's practice squad.

At the very least, Saffold is an experienced depth option who can offer versatility while Connor McGovern and Wes Schweitzer recover from injury.

Unfortunately, the Jets missed out on a legitimate young upgrade in Ezra Cleveland earlier in the day. The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to acquire the former Minnesota Vikings guard for just a sixth-round pick. It's hard not to feel like that's a move the Jets should've made.

Nonetheless, Saffold was their desired choice. Here's to hoping his 2023 season resembles more what he did in 2021 than what he did last year.