NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 11: Oshiomogho Atogwe #21 of the St. Louis Rams is tackled after making an interception by David Patten #81 of the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome November 11, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Rams defeated the Saints 37-29. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
According to reports, the Dallas Cowboys have a free agent or two on their radar, which is alone the most action out of Valley Ranch since free agency began a week and a half ago. One name that keeps coming up is Oshiomogho Atogwe, a free safety formerly of the St. Louis Rams.
Atogwe, who was credited with 74 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles through 13 games in 2009, received the lowest possible tender offer from the Rams--a right of refusal tender, worth $1.2 million and carrying no compensation. This is more than $5 million less than the safety earned in 2009, when he was tagged as the franchise player.
The team has stated since that they'll look to sign the six-year veteran to a long-term contract; however, Atogwe has a month from today to sign an offer sheet, and he isn't exactly happy with St. Louis--and it has nothing to do with that 1-15 record. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atogwe will boycott all off-season workouts while he rehabs his shoulder, believing his time in "The Lou" may be drawing to a close, per the paltry tender offer.
This is another case of players losing out as a result of the uncapped year. With a salary cap in place, a five-year veteran is eligible for unrestricted free agency; without a cap, six years of league experience are required for UFA status. Because 2010 is uncapped, he reverts to restricted free agent status meaning that the Rams will have a chance to match any offer.
Of course, this may have been motivation for the low tender offer. But such a scenario may also be dangerous for the Rams, if Atogwe does sign an offer sheet with another team with full intention of joining that team.
Could "that team" be Dallas? Well, maybe, but it appears that, characteristic of this off-season, we'll have to wait a while for any word. Jerry Jones recently said that the team won't likely jump into the free agency pool any time soon. However, in true Jerry-speak, he wouldn't rule anything out, either.
"I wouldn't want to predict, but I would say no," Jones said in reference to possible free agent signings, per ESPN. "I would say no, but I want to leave it open so that if a couple of things did happen, we might do something