With Jackson Out, Eagles Should Bring Atogwe to Philly
If you've never heard of Oshiomogho Atogwe, join the club.
Buried in the utter mess of an organization known as the St. Louis Rams (1—15 in '09), Atogwe has been a stellar individual performer trapped on an awful team.
Now he's a free agent, and the Philadelphia Eagles should be at the front of the line to acquire his services.
With yesterday's unfortunate news of safety Marlin Jackson suffering a season—ending injury, the Eagles secondary took a step backwards. They now face the possibility of starting Macho Harris, who played decently as a rookie but was inconsistent and is perhaps better suited at cornerback, or rookie Nate Allen at free safety.
With 19 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles over six years, Atogwe doubles the production of the current Eagles safeties combined in those categories (Mikell: seven ints, six FF in career, Harris: zero for both, Nate Allen: N/A).
Atogwe would be an ideal fit for the Birds defense. Strong against both the run and pass, he's a ballhawk with an intense motor, flying to the football and constantly looking to create turnovers.
While his '09 numbers are far from astounding (74 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions), he missed the final four games due to a dislocated shoulder and should thrive in a new environment.
Atogwe is vastly underrated and is not looking to become the highest—paid safety in football. He'd likely come at a reasonable price and be worth every penny.
The move would also allow Nate Allen to develop without being thrown into the fire as a rookie and let the Birds decide what position Harris would be most productive at.
Although the skill of forcing fumbles seems to have become somewhat of a lost art in the NFL, Atogwe is one of the best in the league at ripping the ball away from the defense and getting his offense back on the field.
While Marlin Jackson's injury is very unfortunate, the Eagles have an outstanding opportunity to improve their defense by signing this hard—hitting playmaker.
Are you listening, Andy?
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