Let the Atogwe Unrestricted Free Agency Sweepstakes Begin

Barring a miracle deal getting done in the next 8 hours, O.J. Atogwe is likely to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent. Tomorrow The Rams will have the option to offer another tender to Atogwe or allow him to hit the open market. Consider this from ProFootballTalk:

As of June 1, the re-issued tender must be the greater of the previous tender or 110 percent of the prior year's salary.  Thus, in order to retain exclusive rights to Atogwe, the Rams will have to increase Atogwe's take from a non-guaranteed offer of $1.226 million to a guaranteed (if signed) tender worth nearly $7 million.

With this knowledge, the common thought is that Atogwe will be unrestricted at midnight tonight and there could be a multitude of teams interested. Is it possible that the Jaguars are one of those teams? The Jaguars could certainly use an upgrade at the position. We have heard nothing from the Jaguars or the media to make us think Atogwe could end up in teal, but the same could have been said about Kampman, Osgood, Alualu, Monroe and just about every other personnel decision Gene Smith has made since taking over in Jacksonville. 

Taking a look around the internet, the Dolphins appear to be the team with the most rumored interest, but that has to be taken with a grain of salt considering how little is actually revealed prior to free agent signings. It is possible, though, that the interest around the league isn't near the level in which football fans believe it to be. Atogwe was given the lowest possible tender in which the Rams were only given the rights to match an offer by another team, yet no offers came. The thought that Atogwe will be a pricy free agent is probably a stretch.

After a phenomenal 2007 in which Atogwe finished as the 4th rated safety on ProFootballFocus, his play has since declined. In 2009, Atogwe finished as the 32nd rated safety among those who played in 25% of their team's snaps on the same site. Although it was hardly the performance of two years prior, it was still far and away better than the 65th ranked, Reggie Nelson. Couple the drop in performance with a shoulder that required reconstructive surgery after a December dislocation and his stock as a free agent may not be as high as many fans think. 

With that said, the Jaguars were willing to consider signing 34 year old, Darren Sharper, who just recently had microfracture surgery. A 28 year old coming off of shoulder surgery isn't out of the question. 

So as JimmyK on BleedingGreenNation said on June 1st we can all celebrate Oshiomogho Atogwe Day. Maybe he'll be the newest Jaguar.

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