The Rams’ Friday release of O.J. Atogwe left the team with three safeties contractually under control for the 2011 offseason: Craig Dahl, James Butler, and Darian Stewart. The move made St. Louis significantly weaker at an already weak position.
The Rams may have given up on Atogwe, but Atogwe hasn’t given up on the Rams.
“My agent and myself have established a really good negotiating relationship with them, so were we to do something again (with the Rams), I don’t believe it would be a difficult task,” Atogwe told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Because there’s no bad blood there.
The Rams are probably lucky that Atogwe is still willing to consider them, because they haven’t treated him as most teams would a defensive back who’s created 44 turnovers over the past five seasons. Atogwe was assigned the lowest possible restricted free agent tender during the 2010 offseason, signed to a phony five-year extension, and released yesterday with no apparent consideration given to restructuring the deal or delaying the payment of his February 21 roster bonus.
Atogwe turns 30 in June, so this may be his last opportunity to sign a long-term contract with substantial guaranteed money.
This spring, Atogwe will marry the daughter of Vikings linebackers coach Mike Singletary. It’s fair to wonder if Singletary’s new team might give Atogwe a serious look on the open market.