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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Today, news is coming out that the Colts have inked safety Antoine Bethea to a new four-year deal worth $27 million, one which pays him $18 million over the first two years. Bethea is younger and has a Pro Bowl trip on his résumé, but has not made as many impact plays (turnovers, sacks, touchdowns) as Atogwe has.

    Word is that Atogwe is seeking a deal that would pay him $7 million per year, and Bethea's deal averages $6.75 million per. On one hand, the Rams could point to this deal as yet another reason why O.J. isn't worth the money he's seeking (the biggest being no one else in the league is said to be interested in paying him that figure).

    But on the other hand, if Atogwe was close to accepting a $5 million per year deal, he may not be as willing now, seeing as how he can point to this recent contract as another example of the market's price on a talented safety being close to what he was asking.

    Ultimately I think something will get done because the Rams appear to be the only team seriously interested in O.J.'s services (should that tell us something?), but I would have to think that Bethea's deal is going to come up today or in the next couple of days during any additional negotiations.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    I'd have to agree with you. He's certainly not going to point to that contract and ask for a lower amount. I'm sure he thinks he is more valuable than Bethea, as his hold out would indicate.

  3. #3
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    I'd say that contract prices a healthy Atogwe in the neighborhood of $7 million. Coming back from a significant injury, he and his agent should probably realize they're not going to get that much. My guess is at this point, 7 is the bargaining position with 5.5-5.75 about the range where a deal gets done.

  4. #4
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    The main thing going for us is that we're the only ones who seem to be after him, and it's not like Bethea's deal is going to drive interest up elsewhere. I think it might make it longer before we sign him, but I don't think it'll affect the dollar amount all that much.
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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Bethea is about to turn 26, I believe. OJ can't turn back the clock.

  6. #6
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    There has to be a spot where performance comes into the equation.
    I'm not comfortable with the Rams handing out another big contract
    without it being heavily laden with clauses. If he performs
    up to 2008 standards then by all means pay the man. Just
    don't want another big O contract where he gets paid and the
    Rams spend the year fielding his backup.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Maybe not now, but soon.

  7. #7
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    If half a dozen teams were ardently bidding for his services, then signing O.J. would probably get just a bit more expensive. However, A big contract signed by a healthy and younger player at the same position won't have that much of an impact IMO. Atogwe apparently hasn't garnered the interest he and his agent were hoping for. That said, it probably behooves him to wait, particularly if his injury would prevent him from participating in OTAs or mini-camps. Unless the Rams decide to pull their offer of a four year deal off the table, O.J. has a nice fallback option. It may not be as rich an offer as Otogwe would prefer, but it's money in the bank, and probably pretty good money at that ...

  8. #8
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Quote Originally Posted by badmoforamfan View Post
    There has to be a spot where performance comes into the equation.
    I'm not comfortable with the Rams handing out another big contract
    without it being heavily laden with clauses. If he performs
    up to 2008 standards then by all means pay the man. Just
    don't want another big O contract where he gets paid and the
    Rams spend the year fielding his backup.
    I agree with you. But that right there imo is one of the problems. My GUESS (cuz ive not been privy to the negotiations, but i do often deal with contracts) is that the very thing OJ is looking for is the solid (read: "big") pay day... and for a player coming off of an injury, a lot of that comes down to GUARANTEED MONEY. OJ took the franchise tender last year without blinking an eye, but knows, that at this point in his career, this is his best shot at inking some guaranteed dough. it'll just take some time to work out...

  9. #9
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Bethea is younger and already has a Pro Bowl berth.

    if anything, this should drive home to Atogwe even more the fact that he isnt worth the ridiculous $7million a year he was initially after

  10. #10
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Maybe the shoulder injury is still a big concern?

    Does anyone know if the shoulder is completely healed?



  11. #11
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    Re: Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter View Post
    Maybe the shoulder injury is still a big concern?

    Does anyone know if the shoulder is completely healed?


    Hard to say but the last thing I heard was that OJ couldn't pass a physical if he had to take one. Maybe he's progressed since that time (May, I believe) but this shows that he is, for all intents and purposes, still injured.


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