Look for LATEST UPDATE HERE for the last article linked.
Latest from Howard Balzer (Rams Beat Writer)
Quiet on the Atogwe front
Saturday makes the fourth day that safety Oshiomogho Atogwe has been a free agent, and the only sound has been the door slamming shut by supposedly interested teams.
Several teams had been rumored to be interested in pursuing Atogwe, but several including Dallas, San Francisco and Minnesota have claimed they won't pursue him. Miami and Detroit have been other teams mentioned, and no one from either team has yet to comment on their alleged interest.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "I'm ready to go into our season with the safeties we have." Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday the team "has "no interest." A report out of Detroit said Atogwe's asking price is "extremely high."
As for the notion that Atogwe is looking to leave the Rams because he was upset by the original low tender, general manager Billy Devaney said, "I don't think that's the case. He was probably disappointed, but he understood the business part of it."
Devaney acknowledged that if another team came forward with a huge offer, the Rams would likely be moving on without him, but so far, that hasn't been the case.
Concluded Devaney, "O.J. knows how we feel about him. We are a better team with him here. Our hope is that after he tests the market, he will come back to us. We're trying to get to a happy medium."
The St. Louis Rams declined to offer OJ Atogwe a 10% raise on top of his franchise tag amount from 2009 so as of midnight last night he's now an unrestricted free agent.
For those that aren't familiar with the guy he's Canadian born from Windsor, Ontario and graduated from Stanford. He's had an impressive career on a team that lacked surrounding talent and even last year when he played 12 games due to a shoulder injury he still produced impressive numbers.
Here's a look at OJ's numbers.
|2009||St. Louis Rams||12||12||74||58||16||1.0||--||5||2||21||10.5||12||0||3|
|2008||St. Louis Rams||16||16||85||77||8||0.0||0||5||5||91||18.2||43||0||6|
|2007||St. Louis Rams||16||16||75||66||9||0.0||0||12||8||125||15.6||52T||1||0|
|2006||St. Louis Rams||16||16||72||63||9||1.0||--||7||3||8||2.7||7||0||5|
|2005||St. Louis Rams||12||0||11||10||1||1.0||--||0||1||42||42.0||42||0||0|
Now here's a look at the numbers of Antrel Rolle. They've both played five seasons and Antrel Rolle is now the highest paid FS in the league. The interest was mutual between Rolle and the Fins but the lure of New York and the highest contract for a FS took him away from us.
If you're just looking at the numbers then I think OJ is the choice hands down. When it comes to negotiating a contract there are a few things that are key in comparing the two.
OJ will be 29 at the end of this month. Rolle will be 28 in December of this year so there's a 1.5 year difference. Rolle finished the year healthy while OJ battled a nagging shoulder injury. Rolle hit the market when the money was flowing and OJ is stuck hitting a small market with limited bidders.
Here's the latest on OJ sorted by team. If you find something or I missed something of value just drop it in the comments and I'll add it asap.
"My intuition says OJ's agent is (unsuccessfully) trying to build a market for his client"
'Only one outlet has reported that the #Dolphins are bidding for Atogwe, and attributes it only to "sources"
"Despite limited market for OJ, the Dolphins still aren't jumping into Atogwe pool at this point, source says. No push being made by Miami."
Here's the one outlet that Volin is talking about above.
Same article that has the Fins in pursuit. It's worth mentioning they're also the only outlet reporting a source saying that the Rams in heavily in play.
Quotes source stating no interest.
Jerry Jones downplays interest.
LATEST UPDATE HERE
Childress confirms no interest.
Quotes sources that say the Vikings have no interest.
Same article that has the Rams as front runners and the Fins in pursuit has a source saying the Vikings remain a possibility as well.
Quotes a source that says OJ's salary demands are extremely high and the Lions have no interest at this time. If his demands came down that can change it says.
Nothing really news worthy here but it does confirm that the Canadian grew up a fan of the Lions who are likely the closest team to home for him.
Also says no interest from the 49ers and points out the OJ is with Jill Singletary, daughter of their coach.
Quotes a source that says the 49ers have no interest.
Shanahan basically says he'd have interest if the price is right in any case.
If I missed anything of value please drop it in the comments and I'll add it asap. Enjoy the day everyone and remember that any of these sources that I've used could be misdirecting for tons of reasons. We all know what we were told leading up to the Marshall trade and most of us would have taken very bad odds that we wouldn't acquire BM. All 32 teams are still in play but these links I've posted at least go to local and major media outlets that at least are held liable if they are proven to be lying. Basically it's the opposite of the Bleacher Report and it's the best guesses at this point so take it all very lightly until he actually is reported to be visiting someone.