Monday, June 7, 2010
Not everyone loves Oshiomogho Atogwe
By Kevin Seifert
It's been a week since we wondered if the entire NFC North would be fighting for free agent safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. I had a wild mental image of each team pulling a different Atogwe limb, but it didn't work out that way.
The Green Bay Packers, who rarely pursue veteran free agents, never seemed a serious candidate. There were some connections between Atogwe and the Chicago Bears, but as Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com pointed out, there isn't much money left in the Bears' player payroll budget.
The Minnesota Vikings have indicated their safety depth chart could change, but apparently it won't include Atogwe. Friday, coach Brad Childress said the Vikings had no interest in him. "We've got who we need right now on this football team," Childress said.
(For now, the Vikings are giving Jamarca Sanford -- a seventh-round draft pick in 2009 -- a chance to unseat either Madieu Williams or Tyrell Johnson.)
That leaves the Detroit Lions, who have been the NFC North's most active team in free agency over the past two years. Atogwe is a native of nearby Windsor. Although he is nearly 29, Atogwe plays a position that historically has featured stars in their mid-30s.
Most important, check out the Lions' current stack of safeties in the chart to your right. It doesn't exactly rule out the need for further talent, especially when you consider that three of the six players on the list -- Marquand Manuel, Daniel Bullocks and Ko Simpson -- are recovering from season-ending injuries.
So the question circles back to Atogwe. As Howard Balzer pointed out in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Rams are letting him test the market. If anyone has made a significant bid for him -- the Lions or anyone else -- it hasn't been reported.
Stay tuned. Or, at least 25 percent of you should.