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Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

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  • Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

    Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone :helmet:

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/07/2009

    After missing the entire offseason, training camp and preseason, Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson finally reported to Houston on Sunday.

    In Carolina, defensive end Julius Peppers skipped all of the Panthers' offseason program and at one point asked to be traded before signing his one-year tender in late June.

    In Baltimore, Terrell Suggs skipped camp in '08 and might have done the same this year before signing a six-year, $63 million contract in July that made him the highest-paid linebacker in the league.

    And not that long ago in St. Louis, offensive tackle Orlando Pace went "0-for-Macomb" twice, skipping back-to-back training camps in protest of his franchise-player designation.

    As those examples indicate, it's not unusual for players slapped with the franchise tag to take it personally.

    What's unusual is the way Rams safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe handled his franchise-player designation this offseason. He showed up to work. Every day.

    "It is rare to have no real disagreements over offseason participation, and to have a player be so committed to being around without the contract being in the forefront," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations. "I was shocked throughout the process of how responsive O.J. was to Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) and to putting the team first and being here every day."

    Atogwe has started 48 consecutive games for the Rams since breaking into the lineup in 2006 as a second-year player. For the past two offseasons, he has unsuccessfully sought a long-term deal — first as a restricted free agent following the 2007 season and then as the team's franchise player following '08.

    If he's upset about his contract status, it's not showing.

    "I believe, as I've been taught, that having a reputation of good character is worth more than wealth and riches and chasing after the money," Atogwe said earlier in camp. "I feel like if I was going to be a part of the team this year, it was important — or imperative — that I was here in the offseason. Just to show my teammates that I'm committed to them, committed to what we have going on, regardless of my contract situation."

    So Atogwe was here for the team's offseason conditioning program ... the minicamps ... organized team activities ... training camp and the preseason. He considered it especially important to be around with a new coaching staff in place.

    "Being a guy that's been here with the Rams, now going on five years, some of the younger guys and even some of the vets need to see loyalty and faithfulness from the guys that have already been here," Atogwe said. "That's going to carry over throughout the locker room, so that you just build a team that's really focused on one goal, one purpose."

    Granted, it's not like Atogwe is working for peanuts. His one-year tender last season as a restricted free agent was worth $2.01 million. His one-year tender as a franchise player this season, which he signed July 16, is worth $6.34 million.

    But in a strange twist of the collective bargaining agreement, Atogwe could find himself back to restricted free-agent status following this season. That's because the NFL is on course for no salary cap in 2010. If that happens, it then takes six years' experience (instead of the usual four years) to become an unrestricted free agent. In those circumstances, players with five years' experience and expired contracts — which is where Atogwe would be after this season — revert to restricted free agency.

    "It's a very interesting situation," Demoff said. "O.J. could be the first player in NFL history to be a franchise player, and then potentially be a restricted free agent, which adds a few wrinkles to the scenario. But we've had a great open dialogue with O.J. and his agent, Ken Landphere, and I don't see any reason that will change."

    Demoff said it's an organizational goal to retain the team's core players with long-term deals.

    "I think he fits what Steve and (general manager) Billy (Devaney) are looking for in terms of both on the field and off the field," Demoff said. "I think we'd like to see what happens this year, and move forward and try to strike a deal."

    Atogwe could help his cause with another productive year. What he has done best is come up with takeaways, or at least potential takeaways. He has 32 interceptions and forced fumbles since the start of the '06 season — 16 each — the most by any player in the NFL over that span.

    He gave his new coach a sampling of his specialty in the Aug. 27 exhibition game at Cincinnati, stripping the football from running back Bernard Scott. Teammate James Butler scooped up the ball and raced 73 yards for a touchdown. Atogwe helped escort Butler down the field, throwing blocks on three different Bengals along the way.

    "He's got a knack'' for forcing fumbles, Spagnuolo said. "But he had that well before we got here, and he continues to do it. The only thing I told him was, 'Don't use 'em all up in the preseason. Save 'em for the regular season.'"

  • #2
    Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

    Originally posted by RealRam View Post
    "I believe, as I've been taught, that having a reputation of good character is worth more than wealth and riches and chasing after the money," Atogwe said earlier in camp. "I feel like if I was going to be a part of the team this year, it was important — or imperative — that I was here in the offseason. Just to show my teammates that I'm committed to them, committed to what we have going on, regardless of my contract situation."
    Who IS this guy? Where can we get more players like this? A solid position player with a brain, a moral compass, and real maturity. GoOJ, GoRams!
    A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

      shows how pathetic the likes of Brandon Marshall,Chad Johnson,Plaxico,T.O etc.. are dont it..

      proud to have a man and player of the calibre of O.j Atogwe on our Rams..he will get a long term contract and be one of our team captains im sure.
      Last edited by Ramblin` Ram; -09-07-2009, 06:24 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

        Man we really gotta lock this guy up long term. Players with this kind of character don't come around that often.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

          Originally posted by BM_Face View Post
          Who IS this guy? Where can we get more players like this? A solid position player with a brain, a moral compass, and real maturity. GoOJ, GoRams!
          Yeah and the sad thing is we don't hear about these guys on ESPN or your local news, rather we hear about the Diva's, etc.; but I guess that's what the people want to hear. If we don't pay this man.........

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

            not only is this a high character guy, but he is an actual turnover machine!

            he would have made the pro bowl two years ago if he played on a better team
            or even a more popular team
            @EssexRam_

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

              over the last 2 seasons..he`s averaged 1 turnover per game..thats an impressive record no matter who you are and infact is more than Ed Reed and any other turnover demon in the entire NFL!!!
              just goes to show how meaningless the so called "Pro"-bowl has become..he would have been in it back to back years if it had anything to do with performance over popularity.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                Originally posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
                over the last 2 seasons..he`s averaged 1 turnover per game..thats an impressive record no matter who you are and infact is more than Ed Reed and any other turnover demon in the entire NFL!!!
                just goes to show how meaningless the so called "Pro"-bowl has become..he would have been in it back to back years if it had anything to do with performance over popularity.
                Couldn't agree more, it's a shame how big of a joke the pro bowl has become. I've always thought the players shouldn't have a vote, total popularity contest is all it is. It's to bad also because that is one of the things that define having a great career are how many pro bowls a player has been to.
                Remember couple years ago Witherspoon was at the top of the list in tackles and still didn't even make the pro bowl, it's like they look right past St. louis when it's vote time because of our record...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                  Oshiomogho Atogwe is the heart of the Saint Louis Rams, The love he brings to this team will no doubt be returned 10 fold. For opposing offenses he's that pesky NAT in the Rams defensive backfield, whos' nose for the ball, gives him the potential to be a game changer on every play.
                  Sure OJ needs to be taken care of long term, and it says alot about his character, thinking of team first, HOW soon can we make our vote for the Probowl?

                  FS OJ Atogwe: *Check*
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                    Character matters. Almost as much as ability. He reminds me alot of Aeneas Williams in that sense. I miss Aeneas. Thank you OJ for being stand up.
                    Semper Fi!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                      If that attitude and work ethic can rub off on other guys in the locker room, we would have a great team on and off the field.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                        The Rams need to do right about this guy and get him a new deal. I know they have to wait until the season end to do it now.
                        :ramlogo:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                          We need to get him a new deal. I think this alone shows that he deserves it. But he's a great player to add on top of this.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                            Originally Posted by BM_Face
                            Who IS this guy? Where can we get more players like this? A solid position player with a brain, a moral compass, and real maturity. Go OJ, GoRams!
                            Originally posted by ManofGod View Post
                            Yeah and the sad thing is we don't hear about these guys on ESPN or your local news, rather we hear about the Diva's, etc.; but I guess that's what the people want to hear. If we don't pay this man.........

                            Indeed, indeed. What a positive influence and example a player like OJA could be for many!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone

                              this guy has great leadership..he's earned his teammates and coaches respect with good play and leadership on and off the field, now we just need to work on locking him up long-term.

                              Comment

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                              • 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
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams' Atogwe Motivated By Franchise Tag
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams’ Atogwe motivated by franchise tag
                                6 hours, 13 minutes ago


                                ST. LOUIS (AP)—Being saddled with the franchise tag did not rub St. Louis Rams free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe(notes) the wrong way.

                                “That meant a lot to me,” Atogwe said Sunday after practice at Rams Park. “It was an honor, to say the least, to be that highly thought of by the organization and to be put among the top in your position in this league.

                                “It doesn’t come easily. Not many players can have that said about them whether or not they think it about themselves. To have it said about me is definitely a blessing and it’s not anything I want to tarnish or even belittle a little bit.”

                                Atogwe signed the $6.3 million franchise tender July 15 and reported on time to camp. He did not miss any minicamps even though he was not under contract.

                                That impressed rookie coach Steve Spagnuolo, who thought Atogwe handled the franchise tag situation well.

                                “I’ve told him a number of times how classy I think he has handled everything,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s a quality person right there. Forget about the football talent.

                                “And, I sensed that the first time when I first got here, I visited with him in my office, and you could see that right away.”

                                For Atogwe, there’s no other way to conduct himself.

                                “I believe to whom much is given, much is expected,” Atogwe said. “Each one of us comes out here to be great at our jobs. In our positions, we all want to reach the pinnacle or the highest that there is. That comes with a lot of responsibility and behind that responsibility is a lot of work.”

                                Certainly work is important to Atogwe. After a practice that lasted just over two hours, Atogwe went with his teammates to sign autographs and take photographs with the fans. Sunday was the last open practice for fans.

                                Then Atogwe caught balls off the JUGS machine before doing some conditioning exercises.

                                “I don’t mind the hard work,” Atogwe said. “I’ve been blessed to play this game and it’s by God’s grace that I’m able to work and I’ll do that for Him.”

                                His body of work with the Rams, who drafted him in the third round in 2005, is impressive. He has emerged as one of the league’s top defensive talents.

                                Last season, Atogwe made a career-high total of 109 tackles. He led the team in interceptions with five and forced fumbles with eight. Atogwe was voted by his teammates as Rams MVP.

                                That followed a 2007 season in which Atogwe showed he was a ballhawk. He led the NFC with eight interceptions, including one off Arizona’s Kurt Warner(notes) he returned 52 yards for his lone touchdown.

                                “He’s hard to play against,” Atogwe said about Warner. “He’s very intelligent. It’s like he’s playing chess on the field and it’s hard to just get a bead on where he’s going to go with the...
                                -08-23-2009, 11:23 PM
                              • RamsInfiniti
                                Atogwe, a consummate pro ...
                                by RamsInfiniti
                                Here is an exceprt from an article concerning O.J. Seems like a real professional, just the type of pillar we need here ...



                                Many NFL players shun the franchise tag like an infectious disease, but Rams free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said he’s glad to have that designation placed on him.

                                “I think everything is a good thing,’’ Atogwe said. “It’s a blessing to come out here and play. And to be thought of as one of the top five at my position is an honor. I relish this.’’

                                As the Rams’ franchise player, Atogwe is set to earn $6.342 million this season.

                                Atogwe has yet to sign the franchise tender, but that didn’t keep him from attending the Rams’ involuntary minicamp this week.

                                It’s extremely rare for franchise players who have yet to sign the tender to attend any offseason team activities.

                                “I don’t have to be (here) contractually, but I feel like I’m obligated to be here for my teammates and for my coaches,’’ Atogwe said. “Going forward in this year, if I want to be a part of this team I want to be a part of this team from the beginning to the end and I think it’s important that we all put aside our own personal stuff and just really sacrifice for the team. Put the team first and allow us to come together as one unit so we can get a lot done this year.”

                                Atogwe said he felt like it was important for him to be on hand for the Rams’ first minicamp under new coach Steve Spagnuolo.

                                “It’s our first minicamp so it’s kind of the grace period where you kind of learn how they’re coaching and they learn how we work,’’ Atogwe said. “From a first impression standpoint, I think it’s going to be a great marriage. It’s going to be a great community that we’re building here. I think the coaches are really pulling for us and really trying to teach us in a manner that’s going to allow us to be successful on the field and we’re trying to work in a way that’s going to allow us to be successful on the field.”

                                Atogwe also is trying to develop a bond with new strong safety James Butler, who came from the New York Giants to be reunited with Spagnuolo.

                                “Me and James, our communication and just our rapport is already on high just from us being together for the last three weeks.,’’ Atogwe said. “And knowing James since we both came out in the ’05 Draft, we already have that camaraderie. I think as I continue to learn the defense — he’s a lot further ahead in the defense than I am — and we’re on the same page as far as what we know, it will just take off from there.”

                                Asked if his agent has had any talks about a long-term contract with the Rams, Atogwe said, “I think there are talks in the wind. We haven’t really sat down recently to actually start working out the logistics or the specifics, but if it were to happen, then praise God. If it doesn’t, then praise God the same. I’m committed to this team. Like I said,...
                                -04-03-2009, 06:08 PM
                              • 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
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Atogwe Hopes To Be Back After Release From Rams
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Atogwe hopes to be back after release from Rams

                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                Saturday, February 19, 2011

                                Even with his release Friday by the Rams, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe says he hasn't closed the door on a possible return to the team.

                                "My agent and myself have established a really good negotiating relationship with them, so were we to do something again (with the Rams), I don't believe it'd be a difficult task," Atogwe told the Post-Dispatch. "Because there's no bad blood there. We should be able to get something done."

                                The only problem — for several years — has been agreeing on Atogwe's value in terms of a multi-year deal. Rather than pay an $8 million roster bonus that was due Atogwe on Monday, the Rams released the six-year veteran.

                                "It's disappointing to be back in this situation, again," Atogwe said. "Not being able to actually be set at this point in time in my career — it's disappointing."

                                The relative security of a long-term contract has proven frustratingly elusive for Atogwe, a third-round round pick out of Stanford in 2005.

                                "I'd say it's frustrating along the lines that I haven't been able to feel at home since my rookie contract," Atogwe said. "Where you say, OK this team wants me for the long haul, for the long term."

                                Atogwe was franchised following the 2008 season, then in a wrinkle of the uncapped year, reverted back to restricted free agency following the 2009 season. As for this offseason, there's no doubt that the current labor impasse between players and owners, and pending lockout, have caused teams to be more conservative financially.

                                "Yeah, it has been difficult," Atogwe said. "I think that's why it's very important for us to really get a CBA done, in place and secure, so that other guys won't have to go through a similar situation as myself. And that the teams can really move on in paying their bills and grow for the long term. But for me it's definitely frustrating. I'm thankful that I still have peace throughout this, knowing that it's going to work out the way it's supposed to."

                                Because he is a released player, Atogwe is free to sign with any team immediately. However, if there is no collective bargaining agreement by March 4, no veteran players — even released players such as Atogwe — can sign new contracts at that time.

                                So Atogwe has a 13-day window to shop the market, but he plans to wait until there's a new labor agreement before doing so.

                                "I would say I'm just going to take this time to let God speak to me and go from there," Atogwe said. "I am going to wait till the market opens and then go from there."

                                Besides the $8 million roster bonus, Atogwe was due a $3.5 million base salary with the Rams in 2011, meaning he would have been...
                                -02-19-2011, 01:58 PM
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