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O.J Atogwe situation

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  • O.J Atogwe situation

    Does anyone have any theories or know why the rams decided to give Atogwe the lowest tender? why not at least make a team give up a draft pick to sign him???

    As he still hasn't been signed by another team, maybe I'm just over valuing him, but as last years franchise player and just from watching him play, its hard for me to believe that he isn't worth at least a fourth round compensatory pick.

  • #2
    Re: O.J Atogwe situation

    To tender him to a higher level requires the Rams pay him his salary last year, plus an extra 10-15%. Simply put, it doesn't seem the Rams feel he's a $7 million player. Apparently neither do other teams. The Rams have the ability to match any offer made by another team while trying to work out their own extension for him. I'd be very very surprised if he opens this next season at the lowest level tender. He'll either get a new deal from the Rams, or the Rams will match a 5-6 mil offer (my guess) from another team.

    There is the risk of the "poison pill" clause that some teams have used in the past, but its generally frowned upon by teams and my guess is that it won't happy.

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    • tomahawk247
      A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?
      by tomahawk247
      If this happens, i will be really, really annoyed. We spent last year playing with crap players because we wanted to get rid of dead weight and dead money in the cap, only to scrimp on paying probably our best defensive player this season? We need to be keeping guys like Atogwe around. And even if you dont want to keep him, at least give him an original pick tender so that the Rams would get something should a team want to sign him (which they probably will). Im sure a team would give up a third rounder to sign Atogwe (he was originally drafted in the third round). By giving him just an exclusive rights tender we are opening ourselves to losing a decent player, especially if a "poison pill" is inserted into the contract...
      -03-04-2010, 01:41 AM
    • AvengerRam_old
      Atogwe: How did we get here?
      by AvengerRam_old
      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.
      -06-02-2010, 09:25 AM
    • MauiRam
      Balzar today on Atogwe ..
      by MauiRam
      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.
      -06-01-2010, 11:50 AM
    • MauiRam
      Atogwe will remain with Rams
      by MauiRam
      Atogwe will remain with Rams
      By Jim Thomas
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      04/19/2008

      NOVEMBER 11, 2007--Oshiomogho Atogwe #21 of the St. Louis Rams is tackled after making an interception by David Patten #81 of the New Orleans Saints.
      (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

      Apparently, the first-round tender offer placed on Rams safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe by the team was steep enough to scare off any potential suitors.

      Friday was the deadline for restricted free agents to receive contract offers from other NFL teams. And by late Friday afternoon, the Rams had received no such offer sheet on Atogwe. The exact deadline was 11 p.m. Friday, but league sources told the Post-Dispatch earlier in the day that none would be forthcoming.

      Had Atogwe gotten a contract offer, the Rams would have had the option to match the contract. Had they decided not to match, they would have received a first-round draft pick as compensation from the team that signed Atogwe.

      Atogwe is expected to sign his one-year tender offer of $2.017 million with the Rams in the near future. Even while in limbo, he has been a regular at the team's offseason conditioning program this spring. Eventually, the Rams want to sign Atogowe to a long-term contract, but they have had only preliminary talks with Atogwe's agent on a new deal.

      Atogwe, 26, led the NFC and was second in the NFL with eight interceptions last season. The third-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2005 finished third on the team in tackles (94) last season and also forced two fumbles
      -04-19-2008, 02:45 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Atogwe Will Skip Offseason Programs
      by r8rh8rmike
      Atogwe will skip offseason programs

      BY JIM THOMAS
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      03/12/2010


      A year ago at this time, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe showed up for the start of the Rams' offseason conditioning program and took part in minicamps, OTAs (organized team activities) and training camp.

      He didn't miss a thing even though he was named the team's franchise player, an unpopular designation for players seeking long-term deals.

      But that won't be the case this year. The Rams' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, and Atogwe will not be in attendance. In fact, barring a change in contract status, Atogwe will be a no-show at all team activities this spring and summer, according to league sources.

      Atogwe and his agent have declined comment since the Rams last week tendered Atogwe at $1.226 million, the lowest possible tender as a restricted free agent for someone with Atogwe's experience level in the NFL.

      Those who know Atogwe say he's not angry, that he gets it — he understands this is the business side of the NFL. Nonetheless, those close to Atogwe say he isn't sure what to make of the Rams' low tender offer and wonders if the Rams might be dangling him as potential trade bait.

      At the low tender level, the Rams have matching rights if Atogwe gets an offer from another team. But the Rams get no draft pick compensation if they decide not to match. But if Atogwe does get an outside offer, there's nothing to stop the Rams from telling the other team: "We won't match if you give us a draft pick."

      This is the third offseason in a row that Atogwe has sought a long-term deal. He played as a restricted free agent in 2008 under a one-year tender of just over $2 million. Last year, he played for $6.34 million as the Rams' franchise player.

      Had the Rams tendered Atogwe at any other level this offseason, he would've been entitled to $6.976 million in 2010, or 110 percent of what he made last year. So at the moment the low tender is costing him $5.75 million

      The collective bargaining agreement hasn't been kind to Atogwe. Because 2010 is an uncapped year, Atogwe reverted back to restricted free agency status this offseason. With five years NFL experience, he would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency in a year with a salary cap. But in an uncapped year, it takes six years experience to be unrestricted.

      On Monday, when the Rams' start their offseason conditioning program, Atogwe will be in Hawaii for the NFL Players Association's annual convention. Once he returns, he will continue his rehab from shoulder surgery and work out on his own away from Rams Park. Before suffering the shoulder injury Dec. 6 against Chicago, Atogwe had started 60 consecutive games for St. Louis. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2006, Atogwe has more interceptions and forced fumbles...
      -03-12-2010, 11:23 AM
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