Sunday, February 20, 2011

We better get Nnamdi Asomugha

So, whilst in recovery from surgery, I have been trying to avoid hot subjects that will get my blood boiling. Such a subject is O.J. Atogwe. As you might imagine, I am not particularly happy about my Rams' recently release of Atogwe.

I have mixed feelings about Atogwe. It's mostly good, but not all sweetness and light. If asked to summarize my thoughts, that summary would go a little like this:
  1. He was one of the few picks in the 2000s that actually worked out for us.
  2. He's a heck of a ball-hawking thief. As many have stated, he has created 44 turnovers in the past 5 seasons. Many of those were clutch plays, when the team needed it most.
  3. He's a bit of a gambler, and can miss big.
  4. He was clearly the leader of our secondary
  5. He was one of only 3 of our defenders who would earn a starting position on most teams in this league (the other two are Chris Long and James Laurinaitis)
  6. He's been injured quite a bit.
  7. Strangely, he's a bit over-rated by our guys and under-valued by the rest of the league.
  8. He has commanded remarkably high contract figures considering his actual value.
With all this weighed in the balances, I can tell you I know why the organization did this, and I am not happy about it. Devaney and Co. clearly felt they were over-paying for Atogwe. They had qualms about writing that 8 million dollar roster bonus check. They are betting they can resign him for less.

For those who don't remember it well, O.J. was a true free agent last season, and saw little or no interest from the rest of the league. After making many claims about interest and feelers from other teams, he accepted the offer tendered by the Rams. There were concerns about the health of his shoulder at that time. There may or may not be such concerns now. We will have to wait and see.

At this point, it does appear that Atogwe has cleared waivers, and no one else is negotiating. We also have reports that he wants to resign with the Rams. If he is willing to resign at a moderately lower price, we would be stupid to pass on the offer.

As many have sited, the organization is not treating our top ball-hawk very well. I don't really like the fact that we're jerking around one of better players over a few million here and a few there.

Yes, I understand the Rams are in a very small market... for the moment. I understand that we have had to kick out major bucks to top 2 draft picks for the past three seasons. We have some cash flow problems. Kroenke can remedy this with his ample resources, but the team needs a balanced balance sheet, just like any going concern.

All I can say is this: Our secondary is going to be substantially weaker without Atogwe than with him. If we do not resign him, we better be planning to use some of that money to go get Nnamdi Asomugha.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that Asomugha is a corner, and Atogwe is a safety. I hope you are aware of the fact that the more dominant your corners are, the less you need safety help over the top. Of course, it would be best to resign Atogwe and use some of the savings to get Asomugha. Now that would be a sizable improvement in the shape of things to come.

At the moment, the Rams are not thought to be in the running for Asomugha. Some believe he is headed to either the Cowboys or the Eagles, with the Eagles as the leading candidate. I hope we can get in there and disrupt that flow.