Former Colts head coach and television analyst Tony Dungy said yesterday that he believes the Colts will eventually re-sign S Bob Sanders to a contract more fitting of his recent injury history. Right now, Indy is letting him dip his toes into free agency to see what kind of offers he can get, according to Dungy. That would allow the market to set a price for Sanders which Indianapolis can then either try to match or let him walk. Is this the same strategy that the St. Louis Rams are using with O.J. Atogwe?
It's very possible. Last year, the Rams tendered Atogwe, a restricted free agent at the time, the lowest offer possible. That essentially allowed him to see what kind of offers he received and gave the Rams a chance to match. No team officially extended Atogwe an offer last year. That essentially allowed Atogwe to see what else was available, though with a slight advantage to the Rams since RFAs are usually sacrosanct.
Atogwe left Washington yesterday without an offer. Other teams are said to be interested, but no additional visits have been announced. If Atogwe does get an offer, it's not going to come close to paying him the $11.5 million he would have made with the Rams this season under his current contract. No free agent safety got that kind of money last year.
Matching a reasonable offer might be enough to bring Atogwe back to St. Louis. Both he and the Rams left on good terms and expressed a willingness to re-sign.
Then again, it's quite possible the Rams have other plans.