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Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

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  • Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

    03.05.2010 11:23 am
    Khan’s shadow already looming at Ram Park
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    So much for all that talk about “business as usual” at Rams Park despite the pending sale of the team to Shahid Khan.

    Khan’s presence already is being felt in the St. Louis Rams’ offseason. In explaining the Rams’ surprisingly low tender on safety Oshiomogho Atogwe as a restricted free agent, a team official told the Post-Dispatch: “Do you really think we’d tender him at $7 million with a new owner when he can’t pass a physical?”

    Atogwe can’t pass a physical at the moment because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery. But he will be able to pass a physical before the start of training camp.

    Instead of tendering Atogwe at $6.976 million, which would have brought draft pick compensation if Atogwe receives an offer the Rams can’t match, the Rams tendered him at $1.226 million, which brings no draft pick compensation.

  • #2
    Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

    Wait, OJ can't pass a physical?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

      I hope it's not a return to the "Cheap Sheep".

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

        The Rams would have been better off not tendering an offer at all instead of such a low (and insulting) amount, thereby practically guaranteeing Atogwe will sign with anyone but the Rams. It is these type of moves that sent many a talented Ram to flourish on other teams. I agree with Mike, if you are going to make an offer, at least make one that will bring compensation for crying out loud (the recovery from injury and ability to pass a physical is all smoke screen BS from the front office).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

          i like OJ but think he`s far from the complete FS so i can understand them being weary about signing him to a 4 or 5 year contract..but to put him in a situation that they have when every other team apart from the cards have locked up their best players already seems very short sighted for a team that have been preaching about the long sightedness of their moves up until this point.
          should have tendered him to something...possibly a 2nd rounder would have been the right thing to do..they dont seem to be too keen on keeping him so atleast dangle the carrot out there.

          im not gonna turn on the relatively new F.O & Coaching staff over this tho..as the majority of the decisions they have made have been unpopular but ive agreed with them...just scratching my head over this one...weve already got more holes than a tea bag without adding more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

            Originally posted by bigredman View Post
            The Rams would have been better off not tendering an offer at all instead of such a low (and insulting) amount, thereby practically guaranteeing Atogwe will sign with anyone but the Rams. It is these type of moves that sent many a talented Ram to flourish on other teams. I agree with Mike, if you are going to make an offer, at least make one that will bring compensation for crying out loud (the recovery from injury and ability to pass a physical is all smoke screen BS from the front office).
            I'm thinking the same thing Randy. The Rams are playing a shell game with Atogwe and gambling that they will be able to sign him and save some money. I'm not sure I would play games with a proven performer on a defense that already has way too many holes.

            It would be interesting to know if the Rams have let OJ and his agent in on what their plan is, because as you mentioned, on the face of things, what they are doing is insulting to a stand-up, loyal guy. I hope the FO knows what they're doing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

              The Rams have had plenty of time to evaluate Atogwe, so there's a possibility he doesn't fit the mold Spags and Billy are looking for. He's decent in coverage, and very good at stripping away the football from ball carriers, but he isn't known as being particularly stout vs the run, and he's never been known as a "banger." It's entirely possible they are looking for a player that brings more aggressiveness and size to the position.

              I have difficulty believing that the impending sale of the team is affecting Billy and Spag's decision to lowball Atogwe. Whether they are right or wrong in their evaluation of Oshiomgo, they've got to stick to their vision of how best to improve the team. Chip and Lucia are still the owners, and no doubt have already discussed the budgetary implications of an uncapped year in 2010 with DeSpags. Isn't it possible that the existing owners, as well as the perspective owner, know that the better a team is, the more butts will be in the seats? Saving a few million by lowballing a guy that is a really good player is pennywise, and dollar dumb. If Jay Z. and Shaw and Linny were still at the helm, I would be very skeptical of the current tender for Atogwe, but they aren't!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Khan's Shadow Already Looming At Ram's Park

                Look the Rams still have the ability to match any offer with OJ but they want to see what type of money the other teams would offer him, I'm sure it would be lower than the &mill he has been thinking because the top safties get piad that much and OJ isn't there like a Ed Reed, Troy Palomalu. I think the FO is making a great decision if that's what their intentions are and not jsut blidly give him his 7mill... He does need a pay raise and for sure needs at least a 3 year deal maybe a 4 year one...

                Comment

                Related Topics

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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, 12:23 PM
                • 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, 03:45 AM
                • TekeRam
                  Rams say adios to Atogwe
                  by TekeRam
                  Posted by Mike Florio on June 2, 2010 6:48 AM ET via ProFootballTalk.com

                  When the clock struck 12 in St. Louis (technically, 11:00 p.m. local time), Rams safety O.J. Atogwe became a restricted free agent with no restrictions.

                  Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reports the change in Atogwe's status, which occurred due to a provision of the labor deal requiring teams to re-issue RFA tenders on June 1, and which would have required the Rams to offer Atogwe nearly $7 million in order to keep him.

                  The move comes as no surprise. When the Rams opted to tender Atogwe at the lowest possible level -- the only level that did not allow the $1.226 million offer to be trumped by 110 percent of his 2009 franchise-player salary -- it became obvious that the Rams wouldn't be re-issuing the tender three months later, when the rules require the team to offer at least 110 percent of the prior year's salary, regardless of the level that previously was tendered.

                  Per Balzer, the Rams tried throughout the day to work out a new deal with Atogwe. It's possible that Atogwe simply wanted to hit the open market. It's more likely that his agent had gauged the market in March and/or April, and that Atogwe knows what other teams are willing to pay.

                  Unless Atogwe wants much more than any team will offer, he shouldn't be on the market for long. Indeed, by now his agent should know exactly who's interested, and exactly what they'll pay.

                  Balzer points out that potentially interested teams include the Cowboys, *****, Vikings, and Dolphins. The Eagles reportedly will not be pursuing Atogwe.

                  Of course, it's also possible that Atogwe will find that no one else is willing to pay him as much as the Rams would pay, and that he'll decide to stay put.

                  Another issue that Atogwe will face is his ability to pass a physical. He finished the 2009 season with a potentially serious shoulder injury.

                  Because Atogwe did not become an unrestricted free agent as currently defined by the CBA (i.e., a player with six or more years of service whose contract expired), the "Final Eight Plan" does not apply, allowing the Cowboys and the Vikings (and the Jets and the Saints) to pursue him without limitations.
                  -06-02-2010, 05:24 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, 12:50 PM
                • RealRam
                  Atogwe Puts Himself Into a No-pouting Zone
                  by RealRam
                  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...
                  -09-07-2009, 02:29 AM
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