With holes to fill all over the roster, the bottom line is the Redskins got better with the signing of free agent free safety O.J. Atogwe on Thursday. The Redskins are expected to pair Atogwe, who was predominantly a free safety in six seasons with the Rams, with strong safety LaRon Landry.
“They were the worst tackling secondary in football,” says NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger of the move. “Atogwe is a play-maker, and also a good tackler. It’s a very good signing for Washington. I think he’s a very good player, a smart player and a crafty player. He’s active, has a good knack for putting his helmet on the ball.”
By one count, Atogwe, 29, has accounted for the third-most turnovers (16 forced fumbles, 21 interceptions) in the NFL since the start of the 2006 season, behind only Charles Woodson (43) and Ed Reed (39). With an unheralded crop at the position when the free agent market opens and what is widely considered a week draft class at safety — top prospect Rahim Moore of UCLA might not go until the second round — the Redskins moved quickly.
At the very least, the Redskins got a player they’re familiar with — Atogwe played three seasons (2006-08) for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett when he held the same title in St. Louis.