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A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

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  • A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

    When it comes to the National Football League, there’s the football season, and the business season. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe may be about to discover first-hand how cold the business season can be.

    League sources told the Post-Dispatch late Wednesday that the St. Louis Rams are strongly considering placing the lowest tender offer possible _ the right of first refusal tender _ on Atogwe. Such a tender gives the Rams the right to match any outside offer on Atogwe as a restricted free agent, but the Rams would get no draft-pick compensation if they chose not to match.

    By giving Atogwe the right of first refusal tender, the Rams have to pay him only $1.226 million. Per league rules, any other tender offer _ 1.) original draft round, 2.) second round, 3.) first round, or 4.) first and third round _ would cost the Rams $6.976 million, or 110 percent of what Atogwe earned last year as the team’s franchise player.

    So such a move would save the Rams $5.75 million, but may not leave Atogwe in the best of moods. He accepted the team’s franchise tag last season without a peep, showing up for all of the team’s minicamps and offseason work.

    Thursday is the deadline for making tender offers on restricted free agents.

    ***No more Wroten: Even though he hasn’t played for St. Louis since 2007, the Rams still held the rights to defensive tackle Claude Wroten. Until Wednesday that is, when he was formally released.
    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

  • #2
    Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

    The other way to spin this is that The Rams are saying " We don't want to tie you to the team by either franchise tagging you & ending up at the same impasse next year or setting a price few teams will pay in the special circumstances of this off season & we, for the same reason, would be hard-pressed to turn down if they did. Let's see what your real straight-up market value is now & take it from there." I don't see why OJ wouldn't be happy with that & The Rams can decide whether the price is right or not for the longterm.

    ps On the other hand, if OJ goes to the Eagles & the Rams end up with a Philly QB, I'd be hard-pressed to say there wasn't some back channel shenanigans involved.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-04-2010, 02:07 AM.


    • #3
      Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

      The way I'm reading this, it sounds like the key here is right of first refusal. We don 't give him the low tender unless we're planning on keeping him, and this way we'd pay him no more than what anyone else would. With no cap, they can't "poison pill" us. Just my take.


      • #4
        Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

        Originally posted by Goldenfleece View Post
        The way I'm reading this, it sounds like the key here is right of first refusal. We don 't give him the low tender unless we're planning on keeping him, and this way we'd pay him no more than what anyone else would. With no cap, they can't "poison pill" us. Just my take.
        Surely they can still "poison pill" us, cap or no cap? Say a team signs Atogwe to a 6 year $50 million contract, but with a clause that says if Atogwe plays five or more games in St Louis in a season, the whole contract is guaranteed. Then we will have to refuse to pay him


        • #5
          Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

          Wow..... All I have to say..


          • #6
            Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

            Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
            Surely they can still "poison pill" us, cap or no cap? Say a team signs Atogwe to a 6 year $50 million contract, but with a clause that says if Atogwe plays five or more games in St Louis in a season, the whole contract is guaranteed. Then we will have to refuse to pay him
            Yeah, that's what happened with whole Hutchinson/Burleson deals a few years back, but it's extremely frowned upon and I don't think any team would do it.

            Atowge has acted with nothing but class during this whole situation, performed well, and this is how we repay him. Business or no, there is no cap this year, we are under the hypothetical cap by a ton of money, and he is a core player to our defense. Lock this man up. Who is going to take this man's spot? Certainly not anyone on our team, which is borderline expansion-level talent at this point.

            Not a fan of this move at all if it goes down.


            • #7
              Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

              Maybe just maybe Atogwe is tired of all the losing and wants out?
              sigpic :ram::helmet:


              • #8
                Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                On the radio this morning they said this was all basically a rumor and hadn't been confirmed by the Rams. I'll withhold judgment until it is a fact.


                • #9
                  Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                  This sounds like the kind of story that is "leaked" during a negotiation to influence the other side. I would be very surprised if the Rams would take the chance of having Atogwe refuse to sign a "first refusal" tender and become a FA in June.

                  Don't be shocked if we are reading about a long term deal by the end of today.


                  • #10
                    Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                    That is soooo not cool.


                    • #11
                      Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                      Well at least it looks like the Bengals are about to add another player to their roster with Wroten.


                      • #12
                        Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                        Ok, I read what Jim Thomas wrote and it makes complete sense. If the Rams tender him a contract offer where they are able to get a draft pick in return if they refuse, they must offer him 110% of what he made last year as a franchise player. Ouch.

                        If they offer him the matching contract, what are the odds a team offers him a contract paying him 110% of what he made last year? Pretty much the only gamble with the guy is the difference between that 110% figure and what another team offers. That's not much of a gamble since teams will likely offer him considerably less.


                        • #13
                          Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                          I feel it would be so dumb to get rid of him without getting any compensation in return. I personally feel that some teams would give up a 2nd round pick for him, so why not tender him with a 2nd round pick? The low-ball they are trying to offer him scares me of a "poison-pill" and then he leaves, 0 compensation, and its another hole without getting anything in return. I would be reallllly upset.


                          • #14
                            Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                            Well they've done it, they tendered him at ROFR:

                            Chat with Kevin,
                            The breaking news is the Club announcing that Oshiomogho Atogwe has been tendered at the Right of First Refusal level. We continue to work on potential long-term contracts with Craig Dahl, Daniel Fells and Gary Gibson and will make a decision on their tenders this afternoon accordingly. We have until tonight at 10:59 PM CT to tender those players


                            • #15
                              Re: A “lowball” offer for Atogwe?

                              Originally posted by TheBritishRam View Post
                              Well they've done it, they tendered him at ROFR:


                              Related Topics


                              • Damned Ramz
                                O.J Atogwe situation
                                by Damned Ramz
                                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.
                                -03-12-2010, 02:51 PM
                              • 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
                              • schut39
                                Wyche: Atogwe won’t sign tender with Rams
                                by schut39
                                Oshiomogho Atogwe is one of the more interesting names among restricted free agents. He was extended the low tender offer by the Rams, giving the team only the right of first refusal on its starting strong safety. From the outset, it was a situation we knew would reach a conclusion about now.

                       senior writer Steve Wyche told “NFL Total Access” on Monday that Atogwe will not sign his tender. That decision increases the likelihood that Atogwe will be someone else’s starting strong safety next season.

                                The key date in the whole scenario is June 1. The Rams continue to hold exclusive negotiating rights with Atogwe and can try to sign him to a long-term deal. On June 1, because the Rams tendered Atogwe at $1.226 million (significantly less than his 2009 salary), they hold the option of extending an offer at 110 percent of his salary (nearly $7 million) to retain his rights or releasing him to become an unrestricted free agent.

                                Atogwe, who played under a $6.3 million franchise tag in 2009, ended the season by missing the final four games with a shoulder injury. Time is running out, and we’ll soon find out if the Rams — who acquired Kevin Payne from the Bears last month — have completely closed the door on Atogwe.

                                NFL Network
                                -05-10-2010, 05:54 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Atogwe Will Skip Offseason Programs
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Atogwe will skip offseason programs

                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                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