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  • Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    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.

  • #2
    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

    You know, I'm not that concerned about OJ. He really had just one good year. He wasn't that special last year even though he was hurt the last four games but up until that time his play had really went down from 2008.

    He isn't worth the 110% premium the Rams would have to sign him for if they did today. The Rams can still get into contract negotiations after today, but I bet that Spags isn't all that worried if OJ isn't here next year either.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

      I agree Tx... he isn't worth 6 million, and I think it's obvious that he's not that well regarded in within the league because he was prime for a poison pill contract by anyone. If another team wanted him, they easily could have made sure we didn't match the offer, yet no one did.

      I don't expect him to be on our team come week one, but he's still probably the best safety we have. I hope we come to an agreement with him. Just not one for 6 mill a year.
      I believe!:ram:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

        Considering he has the most turnovers since entering the league i can see why he may want more money than the front office are willing to give him. I for one would like to see us give him a good contract. Bartell got his contract last year and he hasnt been as productive as Atogwe as been. In my eyes Atogwe is far better than Rolle, and look what he got from the Giants. We have the cap room, give him a good contract. Its easy to say we can just replace him, but we know what he brings, turnovers! He is a team leader, been through the bad times and i would be disappointed if he left.

        But hey, its a business and i understand that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

          What are we going to do with the money if we don't spend it on Atogwe? Whether or not the player is "worth" the money ceased to be relevant the second we drafted Bradford. And I'm sorry TX, Spags had better consider getting worried if he keeps losing good veterans-I strongly doubt he survives if the Rams fail to get to 4 wins again.

          PS...NFL teams tend to avoid poison pill contracts nowadays because of the potential for reprisal from the affected teams.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

            I like OJ as much as the next Rams fan, but for all the turnovers he causes, he also whiffs a lot tackles and gets burnt in coverage more than elite safeties should. I would love to have OJ back, but it is a business, and if he is asking for more than he deserves, I wish him good luck elsewhere, unless he signs with the niners... and I have the strangest feeling that that's where he will end up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

              Ahhh let him go this team doesnt need good players anyway we have so many of them on this roster right now we can afford to let good players go.:|
              Aim high Willis, Aim High!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                I guess we just pay decent players anything they want because they have us by the balls with their blown coverages and missed tackles. Turnovers or nice but don't do you any good if you give up more big plays then you provide. We don't know if half of our roster is good or not, we just assume they aren't because we don't know any better and have yet to see.

                So do you go with the guys that you have with the anticipation of them improving or do you tie yourself into throwing big money at older guys you also think will be as good as they once were.

                Since when has Atogwe become so indispensable...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                  Originally posted by rammiser View Post
                  Ahhh let him go this team doesnt need good players anyway we have so many of them on this roster right now we can afford to let good players go.:|
                  Yeah I felt the same way about injury-plagued Pisa and Bulger and then we resigned them to obnoxious contracts...

                  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Atogwe back but for a reasonable price that's advantageous for both O.J. and the Rams' cap/owner dilemna. I'd feel better if, Number 1: He didn't go through major surgery and, Number 2: His age--he's not that young anymore. If it was a guarantee that'd he be 100% and better than ever after surgery, then so be it but quite frankly there are too many question marks on him, and thus, an argument to retain Atogwe by paying him top dollar doesn't bode well for me.
                  Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                    Originally posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
                    I guess we just pay decent players anything they want because they have us by the balls with their blown coverages and missed tackles. Turnovers or nice but don't do you any good if you give up more big plays then you provide. We don't know if half of our roster is good or not, we just assume they aren't because we don't know any better and have yet to see.
                    We saw plenty last season. Several of the units that we went all youth on *cough* receivers *cough* demonstrated a crippling lack of fundamentals and did not demonstrate tangible improvement throughout the season. One would hope that if Team Devaney is actually learning on the job, they would learn that veteran players are an important asset for a young team-because the veterans actually know what you can and cannot do in the league, as well as how to play.

                    Besides, isn't Spagnuolo this vaunted defensive genius? If you're concerned about Atogwe's tackling, take some time out and teach him your preferred form. Granted this closes up a roster spot for one of your beloved New York frat brothers, but Atogwe trumps them on talent.

                    So do you go with the guys that you have with the anticipation of them improving or do you tie yourself into throwing big money at older guys you also think will be as good as they once were.
                    When "as good as they once were" trumps any realistic ceiling you will see out of the guys you hope "will improve" over the same time frame, you throw the big money at the older guys. This is a 1 win organization that cannot afford to let talent go over a difference in a million or two annually.

                    Since when has Atogwe become so indispensable...
                    Since we went 1-15, largely due to a lack of talent and playmaking ability across the board not seen in this franchise since possibly World War Two. Since we have a demonstrated need for talent, PERIOD. Since if Team Devaney wants to get a chance to see year 3 with a new ownership group coming in, they probably should consider fielding a team that has a higher winning percentage than my (or likely their own for that matter) weight for the first time in 4 years.

                    Oh, and since our efforts in free agency this year can thus far be characterized as "Epic Fail".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                      So what happened?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                        According to Schefter, more Epic Fail.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                          The way I see it, there's no cap this year. Drop the 6.whatever and keep him around for a year where that money won't really make a difference. There are a couple of young guys that we hope can make something happen, why not put them in on spot duty and let OJ take the majority of the snaps?

                          The money is off the books next year when the cap (hopefully) comes back into play. The powers that be can decide then whether to keep him long term or if we've truly got something with a guy like Payne.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                            Well Peoria since as usual I disagree with you on just about ALL levels of your post, why bother to reply to it as I'm not here to convince.. (nor am i foolish enough to believe i could)

                            Bah let's see, several of the youths eh? So an injured Avery, about 4 games of Robinson, little less than half a season of Gibson, Amendola, and who? Amendola had the most experience out of that group and that was his third year and he was sparingly playing slot. Seriously bro, a year in the same system and an actual full season won't help any of these guys?

                            I thought the point of adding the Robbins, Feeleys, Fraleys, and the like were to add these veteran's that you basically insinuate that "Team Devaney" hasn't learned about. This is Atogwe's 5th year in the league and he's going to be 29 years old at the start of the season. If he hasn't learned to tackle as of now, he's probably going to keep the shoddy tackling. Not to say he can't learn at this point, its just more unlikely. This is not a case of a young guy learning how to play in the NFL anymore. Even though you seem to think all players regardless of level of experience come in and play to the best football they ever will play and if they have technical flaws now, they will never get rid of them.

                            Your realistic ceilings are not what i consider realistic at all, we will just have to disagree as things like this are as varied as people's favorite food preferences..

                            What you consider to be a team with a higher winning percentage and what me or Joe Scmoe thinks is entirely different. Hence the reason this is even a discussion. I don't think we die if Atogwe and his shoddy fundamentals leave the Rams football team.

                            Atogwe: Pros: Creates turnovers, great leader, good person.
                            Cons: Shoddy Tackler, Poor in coverage, limited if any upside, large monetary demands, coming off an injury.

                            If he's back (yay), if he's not (oh well)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Balzar today on Atogwe ..

                              Originally posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
                              Well Peoria since as usual I disagree with you on just about ALL levels of your post, why bother to reply to it as I'm not here to convince.. (nor am i foolish enough to believe i could)

                              Bah let's see, several of the youths eh? So an injured Avery, about 4 games of Robinson, little less than half a season of Gibson, Amendola, and who? Amendola had the most experience out of that group and that was his third year and he was sparingly playing slot. Seriously bro, a year in the same system and an actual full season won't help any of these guys?

                              I thought the point of adding the Robbins, Feeleys, Fraleys, and the like were to add these veteran's that you basically insinuate that "Team Devaney" hasn't learned about. This is Atogwe's 5th year in the league and he's going to be 29 years old at the start of the season. If he hasn't learned to tackle as of now, he's probably going to keep the shoddy tackling. Not to say he can't learn at this point, its just more unlikely. This is not a case of a young guy learning how to play in the NFL anymore. Even though you seem to think all players regardless of level of experience come in and play to the best football they ever will play and if they have technical flaws now, they will never get rid of them.

                              Your realistic ceilings are not what i consider realistic at all, we will just have to disagree as things like this are as varied as people's favorite food preferences..

                              What you consider to be a team with a higher winning percentage and what me or Joe Scmoe thinks is entirely different. Hence the reason this is even a discussion. I don't think we die if Atogwe and his shoddy fundamentals leave the Rams football team.

                              Atogwe: Pros: Creates turnovers, great leader, good person.
                              Cons: Shoddy Tackler, Poor in coverage, limited if any upside, large monetary demands, coming off an injury.

                              If he's back (yay), if he's not (oh well)
                              How was 2009 Amendola's 3rd year in the league if he was an UDFA in 2008? Anyways, I agree with your points.

                              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, 11:23 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
                                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
                              • Nick
                                Did signing O.J. Atogwe just get a bit harder?
                                by Nick
                                Today, news is coming out that the Colts have inked safety Antoine Bethea to a new four-year deal worth $27 million, one which pays him $18 million over the first two years. Bethea is younger and has a Pro Bowl trip on his résumé, but has not made as many impact plays (turnovers, sacks, touchdowns) as Atogwe has.

                                Word is that Atogwe is seeking a deal that would pay him $7 million per year, and Bethea's deal averages $6.75 million per. On one hand, the Rams could point to this deal as yet another reason why O.J. isn't worth the money he's seeking (the biggest being no one else in the league is said to be interested in paying him that figure).

                                But on the other hand, if Atogwe was close to accepting a $5 million per year deal, he may not be as willing now, seeing as how he can point to this recent contract as another example of the market's price on a talented safety being close to what he was asking.

                                Ultimately I think something will get done because the Rams appear to be the only team seriously interested in O.J.'s services (should that tell us something?), but I would have to think that Bethea's deal is going to come up today or in the next couple of days during any additional negotiations.
                                -06-11-2010, 11:12 AM
                              • 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
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