Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Feb 2011

Rams Cut O.J. Atogwe

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Rams will waive safety O.J. Atogwe, who was once designated as their franchise player.

Schefter notes that Atogwe had an $8 million bonus coming that the Rams chose not to pay.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 18 Feb 2011

20 comments, Last at 08 Mar 2011, 2:25pm by sportstalkwithmac

Comments

1
by Drunkmonkey :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 6:22pm

Wasn't Atogwe considered a top free agent last year? Maybe it was just after the draft he was considered a high end free agent, but I could've sworn he was a hot commodity.

2
by Deelron :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 6:47pm

You're remembering correctly.

4
by spenczar :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 7:03pm

So what happened? Was he an asshole or was he actually bad? Or do they have some young talent? Someone fill me in.

5
by Spielman :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 7:16pm

He was good; it's money. People said last year that the deal he signed was probably really going to be a one year deal because of the huge roster bonus, and they were right. It was a weird contract to give him. Not sure what the heck was going on there.

14
by Dean :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 9:37am

He is due an $8 million dollar bonus this weekend. He's good, but he's not worth $8 million.

He was on ESPN Radio yesterday afternoon here in St. Louis, and he sounded very disapointed to have been released, yet it didn't seem to have been any sort of surprise. He also implied, without coming out and saying it, that his first choice would still be to work something out with the Rams and return at a more manageable salary. The Rams apparently have also given indications that they would have some interest in this outcome.

16
by BJR :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 6:30pm

I also suspect that the Rams see Atogwe as a less pivotal piece of the puzzle now that it appears that young franchise players have emerged in more critical positions (notably QB and DE, but also arguably MLB and possibly LT). They can afford to let him go (and the fans are likely to be more forgiving about letting him go) knowing he isn't one of their only couple of good players, which wasn't the case a year or two ago.

7
by tuluse :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 8:22pm

He was mentioned as one, but the Rams held onto him until late in the process, and when he actually became a free agent there wasn't much demand for his services.

Still, from what I've heard, I'd like to see him in a Bears uniform.

10
by perly :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 2:31am

There was a lot of talk because the Rams had given him the franchise tag in 2009, but it never turned into anything. He didn't get any interest as an no-comp RFA, and ended up signing what was effectively a one-year deal with the Rams after a month on the market.

If anybody wanted Atogwe last year, they had multiple chances to get him. Amusingly, a search back through PFT on Atogwe mostly yields headlines from last June listing all the teams that weren't interested in him.

11
by perly :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 2:31am
3
by battlered90 (not verified) :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 6:58pm

Rams were jealous of the Colts. Can Atogwe be signed to a new team before March when the CBA expires? WOuld any owners allow their GMs to throw out big money for this guy with the pending lockout?

6
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 8:18pm

So you'd need a team in dire need of secondary help, plus an owner who doesn't care how much money they spend?

Welcome to Dallas, Mr. Atogwe.

8
by James-London :: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 8:27pm

Miami is a wonderful city for a Free Safety to live and work...

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

9
by slipknottin :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:36am

Yes, players who are cut/released can sign with any team whenever, they don't have to wait for any free agency to start. As can street free agents. The only players who have to wait for the free agency period are UFAs or RFAs, guys coming off contracts.

12
by Theo :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 5:16am

Is it harder to rate someone's play on such a bad team?
I haven't seen much rams games last year, maybe 4 or 5, but to me it looked like Atogwe was one of the stronger links in the cable.

15
by Dean :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 9:40am

He was. Atogwe is one of those guys who could make a pro bowl if his team goes 14-2 and makes a deep playoff run, but in reality is a good to very good safety. If there are 32 starters in the league, he's definitely in the top half of that bunch, maybe top 10, but probably not top 5. That's without looking at depth charts. Anyway, the guy can play, he's young, he's got a great attitude, and the Rams pay a lot of lip service to him being one of the cornerstones of the franchise. He's not a star player, but just a small step below.

13
by Tim R :: Sat, 02/19/2011 - 5:27am

Atogwe was one of the few bright spots on the Rams defense until last season. He's a good blitzer and causes a lot of fumbles and decent if a bit of a risk taker in coverage.

17
by CoverOne :: Sun, 02/20/2011 - 3:57am

Would love to see Bellichick bring him to New England. We could never have enough secondary depth.

18
by TomC :: Mon, 02/21/2011 - 12:44am

Bears tried to get him a year ago, and I see no reason not to try again.

19
by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/21/2011 - 10:48pm

If they tried to get him, why didn't they succeed? I though he ended up with the Rams because no other teams showed interest, which was mind-boggling to me.

20
by sportstalkwithmac (not verified) :: Tue, 03/08/2011 - 2:25pm

The reason that the Rams cut Atogwe was because of two things actually, 1 money he isnt worth 8 million a year, and 2, safetys haft to play more in the box in spags' system and its not really his type of safety position and it was cutting down on his turnovers. I'll miss O.J, but i really wish that he wouldnt have signed in washington those free agent mongering assholes