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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Gordo: Atogwe's Return Solves Problem

    Gordo: Atogwe's return solves problem

    JEFF GORDON | Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010


    St. Louis Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, during the Rams' win over Detroit last season -- their only win of the 2009 season (AP Photo).


    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has one less thing to worry about this summer. The same goes for Rams general manager Billy Devaney.

    One of the few Rams defensive playmakers from last season, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, has come back from free agency to sign a five-year contract.

    Spagnuolo and Devaney won’t have to have to fill a huge void in the team's secondary. They won’t have to replace Atogwe’s flair for forcing timely turnovers. They won’t have to replace his leadership or professional drive.

    “I’m excited,” Atogwe said during a conference telephone call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. “I’m elated to be back with my teammates.”

    Negotiations to retain Atogwe were long and drawn out. By not retendering Atogwe at $6.976 million after last season, the Rams allowed him to become a free agent.

    But team president Kevin Demoff kept the talks alive.

    “My emotions flowed throughout this entire process,” Atogwe said. “Sometimes I felt like I was coming back, sometimes I felt like I wasn’t.”

    Atogwe missed the OTAs and is still recovering from shoulder and hernia repairs. He isn’t sure if he will be medically cleared to participate fully when training camp opens.

    But Atogwe vowed to be ready for Game 1 – and he sounded eager to help lead the turnaround from last year’s 1-15 fiasco.

    “I have a lot of good friends on this team,” Atogwe said. “Our work together was not done.”

    There are better all-around safeties in the National Football League, for sure. But there aren’t many better ballhawks. Last season he forced three fumbles, made two interceptions and recorded a sack in 12 games.

    This is why keeping Atogwe was such a priority. Getting it done proved to be a challenge.

    While the franchise ownership remains in limbo, Demoff must operate within parameters.

    On the other hand, the ’10 NFL marketplace this is NOT great for free agents. He seemed like a good fit for Chicago, Dallas or Miami, but significant offers from those teams didn’t come.

    Atogwe blamed that on the ongoing labor dispute between the NFL Players Association and the owners. The potential lockout in 2011, he said, “shaped a lot of negotiations, a lot of interest in this free agency period.”

    Chilly receptions elsewhere helped guide him back to the Rams. “We were able to structure a deal in a way that would benefit both of us,” Atogwe said.

    So Tuesday was a happy day at Rams Park. One the last remaining offseason questions has been answered.

    “This is where I am supposed to be,” Atogwe said.

    Spagnuolo and Devaney couldn’t agree more.


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gordo: Atogwe's Return Solves Problem

    You know, everything for sure worked out for us this time. But it seems we caught a bit of luck, with no other teams being interested. It just takes one team to overpay, and he's out of here. We're not always going to be this lucky...

  3. #3
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Gordo: Atogwe's Return Solves Problem

    yea well, it takes one awkward landing to break an ankle too. Eventually ur luck runs out. So why not take some gambles to maximize your return?

  4. #4
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Gordo: Atogwe's Return Solves Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    You know, everything for sure worked out for us this time. But it seems we caught a bit of luck, with no other teams being interested. It just takes one team to overpay, and he's out of here. We're not always going to be this lucky...
    It seems our new FO had their collective fingers firmly on the pulse of 2010 free agency, and apparently did their due diligence with regard to O.J.'s worth on the open market. It is true that the impending issue of a possible lockout likely helped the Rams in terms of how much other teams were willing to shell out for O.J. However, our FO was able to correctly gauge the unique circumstances generated by a possible lockout, and rather than posturing, did their utmost to keep talks open with Atogwe and his agent. One can say retaining Atogwe was luck, or one might also say it was savvy on the part of our FO. My vote is for the latter ..

  5. #5
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Gordo: Atogwe's Return Solves Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    It seems our new FO had their collective fingers firmly on the pulse of 2010 free agency, and apparently did their due diligence with regard to O.J.'s worth on the open market. It is true that the impending issue of a possible lockout likely helped the Rams in terms of how much other teams were willing to shell out for O.J. However, our FO was able to correctly gauge the unique circumstances generated by a possible lockout, and rather than posturing, did their utmost to keep talks open with Atogwe and his agent. One can say retaining Atogwe was luck, or one might also say it was savvy on the part of our FO. My vote is for the latter ..
    Oh, I'm certainly not saying our front office stumbled through this, or got lucky. We obviously did our homework. It just seems like eventually the possibility of us losing out on a prospect seems very real to me.

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