To hear O.J. Atogwe tell it, there was never any doubt in his mind about wanting to remain a fixture at free safety in the Rams' secondary for the long haul. "This is where I'm supposed to be," Atogwe said in a conference call shortly after signing a new five-year deal. " … St. Louis has been my home these last five years, and my time here was not finished." So why then did it end up taking so long for the Rams and Atogwe's agent, Ken Landphere, to reach a meeting of the minds? As much as anything, Atogwe believes, "the state of the league and the impending lockout that's pretty much upon us come 2011" was responsible for an impasse team insiders never fully comprehended. We hear that same reason was in part responsible for the surprisingly scant interest in his services on the free-agent market. Concern over his health — Atogwe admitted he had "other complications that needed to get corrected" besides his season-ending shoulder injury last year — likely was another factor.
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