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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Atogwe: How did we get here?

    O.J. Atogwe has never come out and publicly complained about his contract. That does not, however, mean he has been reasonable in his demands.

    Let's review...

    Atogwe's first contract was a three-year deal signed after he was drafted in Round 3 of the 2005.

    In 2007, his rookie contract expired. At that point, Atogwe had become a very productive starter, having finished 2007 with 75 tackles and 8 interceptions. The Rams retained him with an RFA tender of about $2M. They likely did not push too had for a long term deal, given that they were negotiating with Steven Jackson at that time (signed just before the 2008 season).

    Last year, Atogwe became a UFA. Again, Atogwe was coming off a fine seaso (85 tackles, 5 interceptions,6 forced fumbles). The Rams tried to sign him to a long-term deal, even before the season ended. Ultimately, the Rams retained him with the franchise tag and paid Atogwe nearly $7M.

    I think its fair to say that, at that point, both sides were gambling. Had Atogwe accumulated similar stats in 2009 to those he had in 2007 and 2008, he might have made the Pro Bowl, and he'd clearly command elite FS money.

    Instead, Atogwe had a somewhat down season, and finished the year on injured reserve. He is now coming off two offseason surgeries.

    Given these circumstances, the Rams did no wish to tender Atogwe a sum that would lock him in, as doing so could result in paying $7M to a player who might not even be 100% healthy. Instead, the Rams made a low tender and retained a right of first refusal, hoping to sign Atogwe to a long term deal.

    Those efforts have, at this point, failed, and Atogwe is now a UFA.

    So... who's to blame?

    I'd say, nobody is. Both sides have behaved in a rational manner, applying varying degrees of risk aversion.

    In hindsight, I think one could argue that Atogwe waited too long. He should have signed a long-term deal in 2009 when his value was at its highest. Now, if he is seeking the kind of money he would have received then, he might not only be pricing himself out of the Rams' market, he might also be eliminating several other teams.

    I do think there is a reasnable middle ground that makes sense for both sides, but I don't know if they'll meet there. If not, I'm not going to blame anyone. I'll just wish Atogwe luck and hope the Rams find their answer at FS on the current roster or among the remaining FAs.


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Pricing himself out of the market seems to make sense. All I've read about interest in him on the open market has been negative. Nobody's interested in a near 30, injured FS.

    However, we have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. I wish we did, but for now, we'll just have to wait. I do believe however, that his injury is probably buying us some time. Hopefully we make the best move for the franchise, although I personally fail to see why we can't just pay the man this year.

  3. #3
    lordwhttgr's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    I do believe however, that his injury is probably buying us some time. Hopefully we make the best move for the franchise, although I personally fail to see why we can't just pay the man this year.[/QUOTE]

    I agree,,,there is no reason not to, unless there is more to the shoulder than is whats reported.

    But doesnt the shoulder injury point to his charicter as well, AV remarked that he would have made the pro bowl had it not been for the injury. Didn't he get the injury playing? In combat, if you get injured, you get recognised with a Purple Heart and benefits galore.

    From what I have read he just wants what the other guys are getting. equal pay for equal work.

    Since Atogwe came into the league as a third-round pick out of Stanford in 2005, he has had a hand in 41 takeaways — an average of 10.25 per season.
    No player in the NFL has had more as the Ravens' Ed Reed is second over that period with 39.
    Atogwe has piled up his numbers playing with a team that has been inept — rarely playing with a lead and never benefiting from a consistent pass rush or solid run defense.By Dan Pompei

  4. #4
    sosa39rams's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Those stats are damn impressive. I love the guy and hope he comes back. He will now realize that he is asking for a little to much. He will settle for less hopefully and we punce on that deal.

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Quote Originally Posted by lordwhttgr View Post
    But doesnt the shoulder injury point to his charicter as well, AV remarked that he would have made the pro bowl had it not been for the injury. Didn't he get the injury playing? In combat, if you get injured, you get recognised with a Purple Heart and benefits galore.
    First of all, I never said he "would have" made the Pro Bowl.

    Second, what in God's name are you talking about? Yes, he was injured while he was playing. You don't get a new contract for that. You get a new contract if you are expected to play at a high level in the future.

  6. #6
    lordwhttgr's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    First, "I think its fair to say that, at that point, both sides were gambling. Had Atogwe accumulated similar stats in 2009 to those he had in 2007 and 2008, he might have made the Pro Bowl, and he'd clearly command elite FS money." by Avenger Ram

    my bad.

    Second, I was just repeating what he and others have said. i.e. 41 TO since being hired 10.25 per season. Best in the league.

    hence, hire the guy for the 7 mill.
    Last edited by lordwhttgr; -06-03-2010 at 09:22 PM.

  7. #7
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    I think Atogwe is overplaying his hand here. If there was such a demand for his services at his asking price, he'd be locked up already. He is coming off a down year, significant surgery and is approaching 30- the downside of one's career in the NFL. Giving him a king's ransom simply isn't fiscally responsible nor is it good business. I would agree with AV's assertion that no one is really at fault here: Atogwe is trying to get the best deal possible and the Rams are trying to be prudent and responsible. Nothing wrong with either.

    Trouble is, I'm not sold on Craig Dahl as his potential replacement. He also has had injury issues and overachieved last season. He's not going to hurt you out there, but he's not much of a playmaker at the position, either.

    Ideally, Atogwe will back off his high asking price and he'll remain a Ram. Not hopeful it will happen, though.

  8. #8
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Unfortunately for us the fans we don't know the whole story. Is the coaching staff as high on Atogwe as we are? All we know are the stats.. We don't have the luxury of sitting down and going over game films. Focusing on Atogwe's every play. For all we know Atogwe could be lacking in areas we are unaware of. Whatever it is we should trust that Despags has a handle on whatever game they are playing. Afterall one man doesn't make a team.

  9. #9
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I think Atogwe is overplaying his hand here. If there was such a demand for his services at his asking price, he'd be locked up already. He is coming off a down year, significant surgery and is approaching 30- the downside of one's career in the NFL. Giving him a king's ransom simply isn't fiscally responsible nor is it good business. I would agree with AV's assertion that no one is really at fault here: Atogwe is trying to get the best deal possible and the Rams are trying to be prudent and responsible. Nothing wrong with either.

    Trouble is, I'm not sold on Craig Dahl as his potential replacement. He also has had injury issues and overachieved last season. He's not going to hurt you out there, but he's not much of a playmaker at the position, either.

    Ideally, Atogwe will back off his high asking price and he'll remain a Ram. Not hopeful it will happen, though.
    This is likely his only chance at a big contract - he isn't getting any younger. It makes sense for him to try and make the most of it. Naturally he's gonna start out asking for a bundle - why not? Conversely, it isn't likely he'll retire if he doesn't get his asking price. Given that he's still rehabbing from surgery, there really isn't any rush. If he waits until camp starts, another team could lose a starting FS, and O.J. would have a little more leverage with said team. If there are no injuries by the time he gets healthy, staying with the Rams would make sense, as he already knows the system. From this fan's perspective, O.J. is merely doing his due diligence in trying to get the best deal possible .. Can't blame him for that .. Av summed things up pretty well in his post starting this thread ..

  10. #10
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe: How did we get here?

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    O.J. is merely doing his due diligence in trying to get the best deal possible .. Can't blame him for that ..
    And the Rams are doing the same. You can't blame them either. Looks like we've got this all wrapped up. Let's move along people, nothing to see here!

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