After nearly a year and a half of negotiations, O.J. Atogwe has finally re-signed with the St. Louis Rams.
Atogwe had been a free agent since June 1 when the Rams chose not to tender him at the one-year amount of almost $7 million. Financial terms of the new deal aren't currently available, but the team's release indicates that it is a five-year deal.
So far, everyone is saying the right things.
"I'm at peace," Atogwe said minutes after signing the deal. "I am very excited to be coming back. It was a long drawn out process but I believe it was supposed to be that way just so that the right decision could be made. I believe and am thankful that the right decision was made."
"We are excited to have O.J. back in the fold," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We were always hopeful for this result. We look forward to having his leadership, character and talent back on our defense."
SB Nation's Rams blog, Turf Show Times, lauds the hard-line approach the Rams took in re-signing Atogwe:
Love it or hate it, the Rams have the beginnings of a newer harder stance with contract negotiations. It's a welcome gust of fresh air, especially after the disastrous contracts of the previous generation such as the Drew Bennett deal (and who can forget the head-scratching Linehan idea that Josh Brown was the best free agent at any position), in which Bennett received over 13 million dollars during his short time (2 years) with the Rams.
The man mostly to thank for this is Kevin Demoff. I had a hypothesis that players who are less active in their contract negotiations are more likely to try and re-negotiate midway through, mostly because they have no idea that the raw numbers they receive aren't the best way to analyze a contract, especially in this day and age of massive-bonus-lower-salary type deals. Or they could just be greedy, sleazy people, but that debate is for another time.