INDIANAPOLIS _ Were it not for the pending uncapped year in the NFL, Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and offensive tackle Alex Barron would be headed for potential riches as unrestricted free agents once the free agent/trading period starts March 5.
But unless something very dramatic happens over the next eight days in terms of a labor agreement, 2010 will be an uncapped year in the NFL. As a result, Atogwe and Barron will be restricted free agents. As such, they are expected to be offered one-year tenders as RFAs by the St. Louis Rams. (The deadline for making such offers is March 4.)
Per league rule, the Rams would have to tender Atogwe and Barron at 110 percent of their 2009 salaries. Atogwe's tender would be at $6.976 million _ or 110 percent of what he made as the team's franchise player this past season. Barron would be tendered at $2.73 million.
At those levels, the Rams would be entitled to a first_ and third-round draft pick for Atogwe if he got an outside offer and the Rams decided not to match. The Rams would get a first-round draft pick for Barron if he got an outside offer and they decided not to match.
Because the Rams can use a restricted tender on Atogwe, they won't have to use a franchise or transition tag this season. In fact, general manager Billy Devaney confirmed Wednesday that the Rams will not use either tag this season; Thursday is the deadline for using them.