Not to long ago the St. Louis Rams signed all-star free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe to a five-year, $32 million dollar contract. The news that he re-signed with the Rams was a big deal. The Rams got their most consistent defensive playmaker back on the team and he would be locked up for five years plus they got him for a home team discount, since according to his advisers, fans, and players thought he would make more money on the free agent market.
Although it was a good contract by the Rams, and it seemed that the O.J. Atogwe vs. Stl Rams saga that has raged on for a couple years was finally over; well, everything isn't always how it seems and O.J. Atogwe might not be a Ram season after next, especially if he has a bad season. It was reported by Howard Balzer that the 5 year, 32 million dollar deal that O.J. recieved could actually be a 1 year, $4.1 million dollar deal. More info provided after the jump
It turns out that the Rams can void Atogwe's contract after this season. Why would the Rams want to void Atogwe's contract after this season? Well, he is due to earn $11.5 million dollars next season, $8 million dollars if he is on the roster (no date for when that is due, I think it's sometime before april but could be as early as the end February ). Then he is scheduled to earn $3.5 million if he is still on the Rams roster on the 60th day of the new season which will be sometime in the beginning of May
What does all this mean?
That there is a good chance that O.J. Atogwe won't be on the Rams during the 2011 season, especially if he gets a bad injury or has a bad season. It seems like the front office really covered their asses with this contract. I don't know how O.J. being released will affect our cap coming next year but it should save up some money to sign some free agents.
What if O.J. Atogwe has a good year?
Well that is where things get interesting, the Rams will have to make one of three decisions.
1. They could keep O.J. locked up for the five years, because after the 2011 season his contract will be extremely manageable, also it helps that the Rams aren't super active during free agency.
2.They can pay O.J. $11 million dollars and then deal him in a trade, They would have to have a pretty good idea that he would get a high draft pick or at least a good player in return for him, but anything is better than getting nothing for him.
3. The Rams can just let O.J. go before the $8 million dollar roster bonus is due, and just go from there.
Also the Rams can void the deal and franchise him but there is no way that happens again.
With all this said, it will be another interesting off season for the Rams, if O.J. can be as constant as he was before his pedestrian season last year.
Link provided for those curious enough to read it.
Atogwe's contract is really only one-year, $4.1 million deal | St. Louis Globe-Democrat