What every franchise player should say

April, 3, 2009
4/03/09
3:06
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
2009 NFL Franchise Player Team Status Salary
Julius Peppers
CAR Unsigned $16,683,000
Matt Cassel*
KC Signed $14,650,000
Dunta Robinson
HOU Unsigned $9,957,000
Antonio Bryant
TB Signed $9,884,000
Karlos Dansby
ARI Signed $9,678,000
Max Starks
PIT Signed $8,451,000
Leroy Hill
SEA Unsigned $8,304,000
Terrell Suggs
BAL Unsigned $8,304,000
Brandon Jacobs
NYG Signed $6,621,000
Darren Sproles
SD Unsigned $6,621,000
Oshiomogho Atogwe
STL Unsigned $6,342,000
Bo Scaife
TEN Unsigned $4,462,000
Shayne Graham
CIN
Unsigned $2,483,000
Michael Koenen
ATL Signed $2,483,000

Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was among 14 franchise players this offseason. He isn&#
39;t complaining about it, which I find refreshing.

"It's a blessing to come out here and play," Atogwe told reporters from the Rams' ongoing minicamp. "And to be thought of as one of the top five at my position is an honor. I relish this."

How hard was that? Even if Atogwe were unhappy about having his options restricted in free agency, complaining about being a millionaire qualifies as bad form.

"I don't have to be [here] contractually," Atogwe said, "but I feel like I'm obligated to be here for my teammates and for my coaches. Going forward in this year, if I want to be a part of this team, I want to be a part of this team from the beginning to the end and I think it's important that we all put aside our own personal stuff and just really sacrifice for the team. Put the team first and allow us to come together as one unit so we can get a lot done this year."

Atogwe's actions line up with what new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said at the NFL owners' meeting late last month. Spagnuolo wanted new leaders to emerge in place of some of the older players St. Louis released as part of its rebuilding plan this offseason.

The chart shows the contract status of each of the 14 franchise players. Matt Cassel's status changed when the Patriots traded him to Kansas City, but I left him on the list.

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