Philadelphia Eagles Sign Veteran Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe

By Bryn Swartz

All offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have insisted that they’re perfectly content with the trio of safeties on their roster.

Nate Allen is poised for a big year, everybody says, while Kurt Coleman is still improving and Jaiquawn Jarrett now has a full year of learning the Eagles’ playbook under his belt.

The Eagles had initially pursued 34-year old veteran safety Yeremiah Bell after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins but the New York Jets signed Bell a few weeks ago.

Today, however, the team announced that they have signed veteran safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, also known as OJ. The details of his contract have not yet been disclosed.

Atogwe will turn 31 years old later this week, meaning he probably won’t be on the Eagles for much more than a year.

He has played free safety for all seven seasons of his career. He was likely signed to compete with Coleman for the starting job in 2012.

Last season, Atogwe played in 13 games for the Washington Redskins. He started seven of those games. For the season, he recorded 35 tackles and intercepted three passes, including one off of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in week six. He also defensed six passes and recorded half a sack.

According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked as the 25th best qualifying safety out of 87 last year. Nate Alen ranked 15th but Coleman ranked near the bottom, at 61st.

He spent the previous six seasons for the St. Louis Rams. The team’s third round draft pick in 2005, he led the NFC in interceptions in 2007, when he picked off eight passes. He was voted the Rams’ MVP in 2008, when he intercepted five passes, recovered three fumbles (one for a touchdown) and collected 75 tackles.

I’d say Atogwe has a pretty good chance of taking away Coleman’s starting job in 2012. Training camp should produce some good battles from this position.

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