Five Stages of Acceptance: Rams Cut Atogwe

The biggest-impact move of the offseason so far is generating a wide array of reactions.
Preciate all my Rams fans our there for all your support! God’s will is being done, so you never know what will happen…

When Oshiomogho Atogwe came back to the Rams after his free agent odyssey, the deal was originally announced as a “long term deal” — a five-year, $32 million dolar contract. Soon after, though, the structure of the deal came out and it became obvious that this was anything but. In fact, only $4 million for the 2010 season was truly guaranteed, with an $8 million dollar bonus due this February on top of his salary. If the Rams decided to pick up that bonus, they would be committing to pay the remaining $28 million over the next four seasons. If not? Welcome back to free agency.

Now we know, facing an $11.5 million payday with no guarantee of a season to play, Devaney and the Rams chose “not.” That doesn’t necessarily close the door on Atogwe returning to the Rams. But with the Colts releasing Bob Sanders, the Texans releasing Eugene Wilson, and teams like the Jaguars and Cowboys in need of defensive playmakers, the number of teams potentially in the bidding is higher this year than last. (BIG ASTERISK: *IF* THERE IS FREE AGENCY IN 2011.)

This leaves Rams fans and players alike spread across the classic “stages of grief,” as we deal with the loss of the anchor of our defensive backfield.


Damn shame. Can’t believe we jus did that.


The Rams cut Atogwe!! Wtf
@OneRamsWay why did you guys release atogwe. Ugh


I might be alone in this category, looking for shreds of optimism out of what I consider to be bad news for the team.

Positive thought on Rams, Atogwe: could it reflect optimism that CBA will get done? Why open a hole without confidence team can fill it?
If Kroenke, Devaney felt there would be limited chance to immprove team, $8mil a small price to pay for a known commodity…

This is one of those instances when I’m very happy NOT to be the GM of the Rams. My instinct is always going to be, when you have talent in hand, pay the player. But that’s exactly how teams find themselves with bloated cap numbers and huge roster holes. A smart GM has to be judicious.

And Billy Devaney is that. The Rams GM has proven many times that he is a consummate poker player in negotiations; last summer he was willing to go to the brink with Atogwe, and came out with both the player and a team-friendly deal in hand. 

I will say, thankfully I haven’t heard many fans “bargaining” for the Rams to sign Bob Sanders to replace Atogwe… with only nine games played in the last three years, that could only end in disaster. 


Okay, so I’m stretching this one to include “sadness.” If anyone got turned numb to the world by this move and is ready to jump off a bridge, they aren’t tweeting many cries for help. But Friday was a bad day for St Louis sports overall, with Pujols unsigned, Jim Edmonds retiring, and the Blues sacrificing three of their young players, including their captain and a former #1 overall pick, to the trade market.

@RamsHerd bad news. bad day for StL sports.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO O.J is off the Rams 🙁
Ron_Clements Disappointed in the #Rams for releasing @ojrams21. Understand the biz side, but he’s been most productive safety in the #NFL over last 5 yrs


If my timeline is any indication, a lot of Rams fans are in a much better place than I am over this move.

we could always resign him to a better contract form our stand point,this probably means that Murphy will be a safety, Dahl stays starter
@RamsHerd its not that big a deal really I mean other then troy and ed the rest are pretty much lumped togther I’m sure they can find value out there
@RamsHerd Yeah to be honest i saw this coming, i didnt think they would pay the roster bonus, im not worried but if he isnt back by April…

As for myself, this move makes me think that much more strongly about drafting Florida’s playmaking senior safety, Ahmad Black. I might feel the stirrings of a pre-draft crush coming on…