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The truth on O.J. Atogwe's deal

NFL_atogwe1_250.jpgIn many player contracts, the agent leaks to the media an inflated value for the deal, and the team rarely corrects the information.

The team chooses to remain silent because the team wants the player to think he got a great deal.  If the team puts the truth out, the player could end up thinking his deal wasn’t quite so good, making him more inclined to press for another one sooner rather than later.

In the case of Rams safety O.J. Atogwe, who became a free agent on June 1 when the team opted not to re-issue a restricted free agency tender since the rules of the labor deal would have required the Rams to offer a guaranteed salary of nearly $7 million, his five-year, $32 million contract contains plenty of smoke and more than a few mirrors.

Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the Sports Xchange reports that the deal has a practical value of one year, $4.1 million.

Indeed, the contract contains no guaranteed money beyond 2010, and an $8 million roster bonus due in February 2011, which means the money would be paid before the current labor deal expires — and thus before any potential work stoppage arises.  Balzer reports that the deal contains terms that will void the final four years of the contract.

From Atogwe’s perspective, the deal most likely puts him back on the open market in 2011, when there possibly will be more interest in free agents.  He found little or no interest when he became a free agent last month.

Regardless of what Atogwe may get in the future, his most recent contract isn’t nearly as good as advertised, and it doesn’t provide anything close to the long-term security that the initial reports implied.

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12 Responses to “The truth on O.J. Atogwe's deal”
  1. nfcbeast says: Jul 6, 2010 5:13 PM

    Atogwe totally screwed the pooch with the Rams……
    He thought he could get more money somewhere else and couldnt, now the Rams are like
    ” yeah, suuure buddy we’ll take ya…..(chuckle chuckle cha ching cha ching)

  2. jamesblakey says: Jul 6, 2010 7:02 PM

    This makes no sense.
    The player must know what his deal is; he signed the contract.
    And why would the team want to allow inflated numbers out there.
    Why would a team want a player thinking they gave $10 million to a third-string TE, I’m surely worth more than that?
    Teams should try and lowball the value. Get players thinking, “Wow if the All-Pro LB only got $5 million, I’ll be lucky to get $3 mil.”
    And this sentence:
    In the case of Rams safety O.J. Atogwe, who became a free agent on June 1 when the team opted not to re-issue a restricted free agency tender since the rules of the labor deal would have required the Rams to offer a guaranteed salary of nearly $7 million, his five-year, $32 million contract contains plenty of smoke and more than a few mirrors.
    Seriously! Sixty-two words. I’d hate to be a high school student who had to diagram that monstrosity.

  3. nflhof says: Jul 6, 2010 7:04 PM

    Enter VJ and MM. Hmmm very interesting.

  4. HarrisonHits says: Jul 6, 2010 7:09 PM

    “Regardless of what Atogwe may get in the future, his most recent contract isn’t nearly as good as advertised”
    Waa waaaaa so f’ing what ? 4.1 million even after 50% taxes and agent fees is enough so he’ll never have to work another day in his life if he is smart with that money. Not counting everything else he’s made in the NFL.
    He’s got NOTHING to complain about. Not many people get to set themselves up for life from a single year’s work.

  5. tommyguns says: Jul 6, 2010 7:11 PM

    Kinda wanted Miami to check him out. Maybe the price was just too high.

  6. Dealer says: Jul 6, 2010 7:20 PM

    The league is colluding against players as a united front. He is obviously worth more than that.

  7. Heywood Jablowme says: Jul 6, 2010 7:27 PM

    Rams fans: you see this guy pretty much every week – is he really that good?

  8. Drat says: Jul 7, 2010 5:43 AM

    Atogwe is a great football player and a good guy. He got florked. I imagine all the players on the Rams look at this deal, and they say, the Rams will screw us. Even if we play well individually, the Rams will screw us. The worst team in the league is messing with their best defensive player. Who cares if he can’t get a deal elsewhere? He’s the best the Rams have. The Rams need to commit to their best players. What if Atogwe had gotten a deal elsewhere? How would the Rams replace him? They couldn’t. The fact remains, the Rams are the worst organization in the NFL, and maybe in major sports. (and all you Raiders bashers, lay off. The Rams are far stupider, narrower, and absurd than the Raiders. Many times stupider)

  9. Ram_Country says: Jul 7, 2010 6:49 AM

    @Heywood
    Atogwe has rare playmaking ability and a presence in the defensive backfield. The Rams absolutely needed him back, he’s one of their best defensive players. But the last two years he’s almost been one-dimensional, really struggling in coverage. But seeing on how his team gets no pass rush and he has played on one of the worst secondaries in the NFL, tough to get a good read. I think he’d be a Pro Bowler on a good defense.

  10. daddy_lover says: Jul 7, 2010 8:46 AM

    HarrisonHits says:
    July 6, 2010 7:09 PM
    “Waa waaaaa so f’ing what ? 4.1 million even after 50% taxes and agent fees is enough so he’ll never have to work another day in his life if he is smart with that money. ”
    Sure…if he puts his kids in public school, lives in a one bedroom apartment, drives a Plymouth Duster, and eats macaroni and cheese for the rest of his life.
    Idiot

  11. Heywood Jablowme says: Jul 7, 2010 9:54 AM

    Thanks Drat and Ram_Country. My question was legit. The home fans always know more about their players than the rest of the nation. We’ll see where he ends up next year.

  12. Heywood Jablowme says: Jul 7, 2010 9:56 AM

    Thanks Drat and Ram_Country. My question was legit. The home fans always know more about their players than the rest of the nation. We’ll see where he ends up next year.

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