According to Howard Blazer of ESPN 101 in St. Louis, Oshiomogho Atogwe (known as O.J.) will begin his search for a new team when he visits the Redskins today. Atogwe was recently cut by the Rams because they presumably did not want to give him the $8 million roster bonus due to him today.
FS is a need for this team, Kareem Moore was a liability when he played last year and Chris Horton/Reed Doughty are both better suited to play strong safety. We all saw what a beast Laron was when inserted into his natural SS position last year and he needs someone behind him who can be a play-maker. We are all calling for improvement through the draft, but in a draft where we only have 2 picks in the first 4 rounds we still need to fill some needs on this team through the free agent market. Those few precious picks are better suited on other positions where the Redskins are lacking. Signing a player like Atogwe immediately removes one need from our long laundry list of issues and allows the Skins to use the picks we do have on bigger holes, especially ones along the OL/DL, throughout the draft.
Otogwe had the best years of his 6-year career from 2006 to 2008 playing in former Rams coach and current Redskins D-coordinator Jim Haslett’s defensive scheme. Throughout his career he has proved that he is a true FS and a play-maker, including a TD-return that we all remember when the Redskins were upset by the rams in 2008 (The one where Pete Kendell tried to run with the ball after recovering a fumble instead of just falling on it…). This is a move that I hope we make, Atogwe still has several good years ahead of him at 29 years old (30 in June) and his familiarity/fit with the scheme being run in DC is a huge plus in my eyes. Although he hasn’t been to the pro-bowl he was widely considered the Rams top defender and adding him to our defense would immediately provide an upgrade to a need position.
My main concern is that as a Stanford graduate he may have the brains to stay as far away from the Redskins as possible…I hope not, adding O.J. would be a huge upgrade on the back end of this defense going into 2011.