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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Rams must make decision on Atogwe's status on Tuesday
    Team has to sign him, make a new tender offer or let him become a free agent

    By Howard Balzer
    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    The day everyone expected has arrived. Tuesday is the day the Rams have to make a decision on restricted free-agent free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.

    At the beginning of the league year in early March, the Rams elected to tender Atogwe at the lowest level of $1.226 million, rather than give him a 110 percent increase over his 2009 salary of $6.342 million. The lower tender meant the Rams retained right of first refusal, but there would have been no draft-choice compensation had Atogwe received an offer from another team prior to the April 15 deadline.

    Once that date passed without an offer, June 1 became the next important day on the calendar. The Rams have insisted they want to sign Atogwe to a long-term contract and negotiations have occurred since before he was made the franchise player in 2009. The Rams remained in contact with Atogwe’s agent, Ken Landphere, during the holiday weekend.

    However, it has been clear the two sides are in disagreement over the value of a good, but not great, safety, and one who is coming off shoulder surgery and will turn 29 on June 23.

    If there is no agreement on a new deal Tuesday, the Rams have until 11 p.m. St. Louis time to increase his one-year tender to $6.976 million, a salary that would be guaranteed as soon as Atogwe signs it. If the Rams decide not to tender him at that level, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

    Several teams have been rumored as having interest in Atogwe, including Miami, Detroit, Dallas and San Francisco. It remains to be seen what value other teams place on Atogwe, but the Rams are hoping that value will be in line with theirs and that Atogwe will give them the opportunity to match the best offer he gets.

    The Rams’ in-limbo ownership situation does not appear to be a factor in the efforts to re-sign Atogwe because a contract for him was part of the overall budget set heading into the new league year. Of course, the value of that contract is in line with what the team believes he is worth.
    OTAs continue

    The Rams enter their third week of OTAs this week, with practices scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Wednesday and Friday sessions will be open to the media.


  2. #2
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    You know, I'm not that concerned about OJ. He really had just one good year. He wasn't that special last year even though he was hurt the last four games but up until that time his play had really went down from 2008.

    He isn't worth the 110% premium the Rams would have to sign him for if they did today. The Rams can still get into contract negotiations after today, but I bet that Spags isn't all that worried if OJ isn't here next year either.

  3. #3
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    I agree Tx... he isn't worth 6 million, and I think it's obvious that he's not that well regarded in within the league because he was prime for a poison pill contract by anyone. If another team wanted him, they easily could have made sure we didn't match the offer, yet no one did.

    I don't expect him to be on our team come week one, but he's still probably the best safety we have. I hope we come to an agreement with him. Just not one for 6 mill a year.
    I believe!

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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Considering he has the most turnovers since entering the league i can see why he may want more money than the front office are willing to give him. I for one would like to see us give him a good contract. Bartell got his contract last year and he hasnt been as productive as Atogwe as been. In my eyes Atogwe is far better than Rolle, and look what he got from the Giants. We have the cap room, give him a good contract. Its easy to say we can just replace him, but we know what he brings, turnovers! He is a team leader, been through the bad times and i would be disappointed if he left.

    But hey, its a business and i understand that.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    What are we going to do with the money if we don't spend it on Atogwe? Whether or not the player is "worth" the money ceased to be relevant the second we drafted Bradford. And I'm sorry TX, Spags had better consider getting worried if he keeps losing good veterans-I strongly doubt he survives if the Rams fail to get to 4 wins again.

    PS...NFL teams tend to avoid poison pill contracts nowadays because of the potential for reprisal from the affected teams.

  6. #6
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    I like OJ as much as the next Rams fan, but for all the turnovers he causes, he also whiffs a lot tackles and gets burnt in coverage more than elite safeties should. I would love to have OJ back, but it is a business, and if he is asking for more than he deserves, I wish him good luck elsewhere, unless he signs with the niners... and I have the strangest feeling that that's where he will end up.

  7. #7
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Ahhh let him go this team doesnt need good players anyway we have so many of them on this roster right now we can afford to let good players go.
    Just Fix It

  8. #8
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    I guess we just pay decent players anything they want because they have us by the balls with their blown coverages and missed tackles. Turnovers or nice but don't do you any good if you give up more big plays then you provide. We don't know if half of our roster is good or not, we just assume they aren't because we don't know any better and have yet to see.

    So do you go with the guys that you have with the anticipation of them improving or do you tie yourself into throwing big money at older guys you also think will be as good as they once were.

    Since when has Atogwe become so indispensable...

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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Ahhh let him go this team doesnt need good players anyway we have so many of them on this roster right now we can afford to let good players go.
    Yeah I felt the same way about injury-plagued Pisa and Bulger and then we resigned them to obnoxious contracts...

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Atogwe back but for a reasonable price that's advantageous for both O.J. and the Rams' cap/owner dilemna. I'd feel better if, Number 1: He didn't go through major surgery and, Number 2: His age--he's not that young anymore. If it was a guarantee that'd he be 100% and better than ever after surgery, then so be it but quite frankly there are too many question marks on him, and thus, an argument to retain Atogwe by paying him top dollar doesn't bode well for me.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  10. #10
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    I guess we just pay decent players anything they want because they have us by the balls with their blown coverages and missed tackles. Turnovers or nice but don't do you any good if you give up more big plays then you provide. We don't know if half of our roster is good or not, we just assume they aren't because we don't know any better and have yet to see.
    We saw plenty last season. Several of the units that we went all youth on *cough* receivers *cough* demonstrated a crippling lack of fundamentals and did not demonstrate tangible improvement throughout the season. One would hope that if Team Devaney is actually learning on the job, they would learn that veteran players are an important asset for a young team-because the veterans actually know what you can and cannot do in the league, as well as how to play.

    Besides, isn't Spagnuolo this vaunted defensive genius? If you're concerned about Atogwe's tackling, take some time out and teach him your preferred form. Granted this closes up a roster spot for one of your beloved New York frat brothers, but Atogwe trumps them on talent.

    So do you go with the guys that you have with the anticipation of them improving or do you tie yourself into throwing big money at older guys you also think will be as good as they once were.
    When "as good as they once were" trumps any realistic ceiling you will see out of the guys you hope "will improve" over the same time frame, you throw the big money at the older guys. This is a 1 win organization that cannot afford to let talent go over a difference in a million or two annually.

    Since when has Atogwe become so indispensable...
    Since we went 1-15, largely due to a lack of talent and playmaking ability across the board not seen in this franchise since possibly World War Two. Since we have a demonstrated need for talent, PERIOD. Since if Team Devaney wants to get a chance to see year 3 with a new ownership group coming in, they probably should consider fielding a team that has a higher winning percentage than my (or likely their own for that matter) weight for the first time in 4 years.

    Oh, and since our efforts in free agency this year can thus far be characterized as "Epic Fail".

  11. #11
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    So what happened?

  12. #12
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    According to Schefter, more Epic Fail.

  13. #13
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    The way I see it, there's no cap this year. Drop the 6.whatever and keep him around for a year where that money won't really make a difference. There are a couple of young guys that we hope can make something happen, why not put them in on spot duty and let OJ take the majority of the snaps?

    The money is off the books next year when the cap (hopefully) comes back into play. The powers that be can decide then whether to keep him long term or if we've truly got something with a guy like Payne.

  14. #14
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Well Peoria since as usual I disagree with you on just about ALL levels of your post, why bother to reply to it as I'm not here to convince.. (nor am i foolish enough to believe i could)

    Bah let's see, several of the youths eh? So an injured Avery, about 4 games of Robinson, little less than half a season of Gibson, Amendola, and who? Amendola had the most experience out of that group and that was his third year and he was sparingly playing slot. Seriously bro, a year in the same system and an actual full season won't help any of these guys?

    I thought the point of adding the Robbins, Feeleys, Fraleys, and the like were to add these veteran's that you basically insinuate that "Team Devaney" hasn't learned about. This is Atogwe's 5th year in the league and he's going to be 29 years old at the start of the season. If he hasn't learned to tackle as of now, he's probably going to keep the shoddy tackling. Not to say he can't learn at this point, its just more unlikely. This is not a case of a young guy learning how to play in the NFL anymore. Even though you seem to think all players regardless of level of experience come in and play to the best football they ever will play and if they have technical flaws now, they will never get rid of them.

    Your realistic ceilings are not what i consider realistic at all, we will just have to disagree as things like this are as varied as people's favorite food preferences..

    What you consider to be a team with a higher winning percentage and what me or Joe Scmoe thinks is entirely different. Hence the reason this is even a discussion. I don't think we die if Atogwe and his shoddy fundamentals leave the Rams football team.

    Atogwe: Pros: Creates turnovers, great leader, good person.
    Cons: Shoddy Tackler, Poor in coverage, limited if any upside, large monetary demands, coming off an injury.

    If he's back (yay), if he's not (oh well)

  15. #15
    Lesson is offline Registered User
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    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Well Peoria since as usual I disagree with you on just about ALL levels of your post, why bother to reply to it as I'm not here to convince.. (nor am i foolish enough to believe i could)

    Bah let's see, several of the youths eh? So an injured Avery, about 4 games of Robinson, little less than half a season of Gibson, Amendola, and who? Amendola had the most experience out of that group and that was his third year and he was sparingly playing slot. Seriously bro, a year in the same system and an actual full season won't help any of these guys?

    I thought the point of adding the Robbins, Feeleys, Fraleys, and the like were to add these veteran's that you basically insinuate that "Team Devaney" hasn't learned about. This is Atogwe's 5th year in the league and he's going to be 29 years old at the start of the season. If he hasn't learned to tackle as of now, he's probably going to keep the shoddy tackling. Not to say he can't learn at this point, its just more unlikely. This is not a case of a young guy learning how to play in the NFL anymore. Even though you seem to think all players regardless of level of experience come in and play to the best football they ever will play and if they have technical flaws now, they will never get rid of them.

    Your realistic ceilings are not what i consider realistic at all, we will just have to disagree as things like this are as varied as people's favorite food preferences..

    What you consider to be a team with a higher winning percentage and what me or Joe Scmoe thinks is entirely different. Hence the reason this is even a discussion. I don't think we die if Atogwe and his shoddy fundamentals leave the Rams football team.

    Atogwe: Pros: Creates turnovers, great leader, good person.
    Cons: Shoddy Tackler, Poor in coverage, limited if any upside, large monetary demands, coming off an injury.

    If he's back (yay), if he's not (oh well)
    How was 2009 Amendola's 3rd year in the league if he was an UDFA in 2008? Anyways, I agree with your points.

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