Rams Notebook: Is Atogwe headed to San Francisco 49ers?
Within the next week, the Rams will make a decision regarding the short-term status of free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.
The Rams’ options are clear. Prior to June 1, either the two sides reach agreement on a long-term contract or the Rams must tender him at $6.976 million to retain their exclusive rights.
It appears unlikely either will happen. It’s obvious the Rams and Atogwe disagree on his value. It probably didn’t help when the Rams placed the franchise tag on Atogwe last season and paid him $6.342 million. Then, early in free agency, safety Antrel Rolle signed a five-year, $37 million contract with the Giants that included a reported $15 million in guarantees.
It would be reasonable to assume the Rams value Atogwe at between $4 and $5 million on a long-term deal, not $6-7 million. Assuming no deal occurs and that there is no new tender, Atogwe will become an unrestricted free agent on June 1.
Surely, the Rams will tell Ken Landphere, Atogwe’s agent, that they still want him, depending on the level of offers he receives. Does Atogwe want to return? Only if the money is right. It’s difficult to predict what other teams will offer a player coming off shoulder surgery.
One team to keep an eye on is the San Francisco 49ers. Atogwe’s rehabilitation is believed to be taking place in the Bay Area, and he has been dating the daughter of 49ers coach Mike Singletary for at least the last year.
After an OTA session last week, Singletary was asked if he has talked to Atogwe about signing with the team. Singletary said, “I think right now we are just leaving those things where they are. Yes, I do know O.J., but it’s not one of those things where we talk about it, no. We’re developing our team and he has his team. If that changes then we’ll look at that at the appropriate time. Right now it’s just not something that we’re thinking about.”
Singletary added, when asked if they had discussed why he would or would not be interested in playing for the 49ers, “I would just say this, by being around him as much as I have been, we’ve had some conversations but nothing to the point of, ‘We’d really like to have you here.’ We don’t really get into that.”
Right. We’re sure they don’t.