Oshiomogho Atogwe is one of the more interesting names among restricted free agents. He was extended the low tender offer by the Rams, giving the team only the right of first refusal on its starting strong safety. From the outset, it was a situation we knew would reach a conclusion about now.
NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche told “NFL Total Access” on Monday that Atogwe will not sign his tender. That decision increases the likelihood that Atogwe will be someone else’s starting strong safety next season.
The key date in the whole scenario is June 1. The Rams continue to hold exclusive negotiating rights with Atogwe and can try to sign him to a long-term deal. On June 1, because the Rams tendered Atogwe at $1.226 million (significantly less than his 2009 salary), they hold the option of extending an offer at 110 percent of his salary (nearly $7 million) to retain his rights or releasing him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Atogwe, who played under a $6.3 million franchise tag in 2009, ended the season by missing the final four games with a shoulder injury. Time is running out, and we’ll soon find out if the Rams — who acquired Kevin Payne from the Bears last month — have completely closed the door on Atogwe.