The Philadelphia Eagles recently signed veteran safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. This signing was not meant to bring in a new starter, as many have speculated. The Eagles signed Atogwe in order to add depth and a veteran presence to their secondary. Prior to this signing, the Eagles had three very young, but talented safeties on their roster: Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Jaiquawn Jarrett. The Eagles have insisted that Atogwe will not be competing for a starting job, and Atogwe seems to have resigned himself to that fact, as well.
Even though he turns 31 this year, OJ appeared in 13 games for the Washington Redskins last year, starting in 7 of those. In his 13 appearances last year, Atogwe had 3 interceptions and 35 tackles, giving him a total of 25 picks and 376 tackles during his 7 year career.
The Eagles have been desperate for veteran leadership in their secondary since the untimely departure of quintessential Eagle Brian Dawkins. Philadelphia has a great deal of potential at the safety position, but the players there are still very young and gaining experience. Jaiquawn Jarrett should be much improved this year with an entire year and offseason with the playbook and going against NFL caliber competition. Coleman and Allen are looking both looking to build off of relatively productive 2011 seasons.
Atogwe was by no means brought in to start. He is still a very talented player who will contribute a great deal on the Eagles defense. He is on the roster to add depth and to get the best out of the 3 safeties that were already on the roster. Injuries happen frequently in the NFL, and it is never a bad thing to have someone waiting in the wings that has 7 years of experience and can still play the game at a relatively high level. Even if he comes into training camp and blows everyone’s minds, I still don’t see Atogwe taking over a starting position on this Eagles roster (barring injury, of course).