In a somewhat surprise move, the Rams have re-signed safety O.J. Atogwe to a five-year deal, believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $5 million per year. Atogwe, who has 15 interceptions over the last three seasons, was St. Louis’s franchise tag player in ’09. He was tendered as an RFA this offseason but was able win his unrestricted free agency. However, his reported asking price of $7 million a season was too high.
The Rams desperately need Atogwe’s services. He is the closest thing to playmaker in a secondary filled with backups.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch offered more:
"Coach Steve Spagnuolo said in a statement: "We are excited to have O.J. back in the fold. "We were always hopeful for this result. We look forward to having his leadership, character and talent back on our defense."
Negotiations have taken twists and turns. The Rams and Atogwe couldn't work out a multiyear deal earlier in the spring, then the team declined to pay him the one-year tender amount of $6,976,000 that he was due as an unrestricted free agent.
Among his career highlights: 19 interceptions and 19 forced fumbles, the largest combined total in the NFL since the start of 2006. He led the NFC in interceptions In 2007 with eight."
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