Former Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner began new chapters in their careers Thursday.
Saffold was introduced as the newest member of the Tennessee Titans during a news conference in Nashville. Joyner participated in a teleconference with Oakland Raiders beat reporters.
Saffold was a second-round draft pick by the Rams in 2010, Joyner a second-round pick in 2014. Both were starters for a Rams team that advanced to the Super Bowl last season.
Their departures via unrestricted free agency, and the arrival of safety Eric Weddle and the retention of edge rusher Dante Fowler, leaves the Rams with about $8.8 million in salary-cap space, according to overthecap.com.
Saffold, 30, reportedly signed a four-year, $44-million contract with the Titans that includes $22.5 million in guarantees. The guard had been the Rams’ longest-tenured player, and said going to the Super Bowl, “was pretty cool, getting that little taste of it, it definitely makes you want to go back,” the Titans’ website reported.
“The whole reason why we are here is to get a Super Bowl championship — we are not here to just appear in the playoffs, we want to make a run. So as long as we have everybody focusing on that same goal, we should be striving for it.”
This was Saffold’s second foray into free agency.
In 2014, he agreed to what was reportedly a five-year, $42-million contract with the Raiders that included $21 million in guarantees. But the Raiders pulled out of the deal, saying Saffold failed a physical. He signed a five-year, $31-million deal with the Rams that included $19.5 million in guarantees.
Second-year pro Joseph Noteboom is a candidate to replace Saffold and start alongside veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Joyner, 28, earned about $11.3 million last season playing under the franchise tag. The Raiders signed him to a four-year, $42-million deal that includes $21.3 million in guarantees, according to overthecap.com. He is expected to play as a slot cornerback and safety.
Joyner was part of a Rams organization that moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Now he is part of one scheduled to move from Oakland to Las Vegas after the 2019 season.
“I definitely wanted to come and be a part of the [Oakland] history,” Joyner said during the conference call, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. “And I also wanted to be a part of a new beginning. Hopefully, we do a lot of great things this year and make Nevada even more excited to have us.”
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein