Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Mar 2011

Atogwe To Redskins, Sanders To SD

You have no idea how hard it was to resist making a Men Without Hats reference in that headline. Anyway, former Rams safety O.J. Atogwe has signed a five-year, $26 million deal with the Washington Redskins, while former Colts safety Bob Sanders has agreed to a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers. A story on the Chargers' web site says Sanders has signed, although a story on NFL.com says it's not clear when Sanders can technically sign his contract due to the nebulous state of NFL labor negotiations.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 04 Mar 2011

23 comments, Last at 06 Mar 2011, 8:36pm by Independent George


by Barry (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:21pm

All San Diego needs to do now, is find a decent back up to play about 12 games when Sanders is injured. Maybe 14 games.

by Theo :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:24pm

I don't see LaRon Landry anywhere on the depth charts. What is happening with him?
This team would be so much easier to root for if it still had Sean Taylor.
One year deal for Bob Sanders. Don't release the backup.

by perly :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:59pm

Landry finished 2010 on IR so probably isn't on the current Skins depth chart (they won't be updated on any official basis until preseason).

Atogwe's a good signing, but would have been a great one last year. After the 2009 season the only thing missing from the Skins having a great defense was competent safety play. Now that they've got that solved, they're just three linebackers, a nose tackle and a second corner away...

by The Other Ben Johnson (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:38pm

Any insight into Atogwe and/or how he fits, or should I just assume this signing is a horrible idea because it's the Redskins?

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 3:41pm

A remarkably good move for the Redskins on paper. For the upcoming year they have glaring defensive needs at outside linebacker opposite Orakpo, defensive tackle, free safety and second cornerback. Inside linebacker also needs some fresh blood, but has less importance in the scheme. That's a lot of holes to fill just on defense and this signing frees up draft picks to address other areas of need.

Landry is a strong safety and Atogwe fits the rangy free saftey coverage that Haslett likes to use. From all reports he is even a strong character guy that can fill the void of defensive captain when London Fletcher retires.

by Dean :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 3:53pm

The only word I would disagree with is "rangy." Otogwe is a class act, a high character guy, and this has the potential to be the best free agent signing the Skins have had since, I dunno, Randy Thomas? They may have overpaid slightly, but even if they did, the deal is a bargain by skins standards. But if there's one knock on Otogwe, it's that he's not necessarily a great sideline to sideline defender. It looked early in his career like he'd be that guy, but that was the major reason the Rams didn't pay him the money. He's not a guy who can cover the whole field in a cover-1. Not that anybody really can, but he'll show less range than the Rams wanted anyway.

Still, the Rams lost one of their 3 or 4 best defensive players and the skins made a rare smart move.

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 5:56pm

Good info on Atogwe, was basing my comments on his statline. Can't say that I've really watched film on him or anything. He has a fair amount of forced fumbles and picks over the last several years.

The list of good FA moves is a short one, not sure Randy Thomas actually counts among them. Randy was a restricted free agent and part of the short lived "Jetskins" experiment in 2003.


There have been some limited successes since then. London Fletcher, Andre Carter and Mike Sellers are three true FA on the team last year that made the pro bowl during their tenure.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/05/2011 - 12:42pm

I hear he's a ballhawk who can be beaten regularly but will make the big play every now and then.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 5:00pm

Former O-lineman/D-lineman/special teamer Lorenzo Alexander developed into an OLB and had a strong year opposite Orakpo, I think they're fine there.

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 6:06pm

I love J-Load as a hustle guy, but he had 1.5 sacks and 24 tackles while starting 12 games at outside linebacker. He's a mainstay on special teams, but can hardly be termed above replacement level as a defensive starter. A defense has to generate pass rush to be effective, and that comes from the OLB spots in the 3-4. Orakpo was the only player to get 3 or more sacks last year on the whole team, he really needs the help.

by The Other Ben Johnson (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 6:57pm

The phrase "starting 12 games at outside linebacker" is a little misleading for Alexander. They moved him all over that line and pulled him for a lot of downs. We agree on hustle, though. He always looks like he's trying. He's like the anti-Haynesworth.

by Independent George :: Sun, 03/06/2011 - 8:36pm

What is this? There is only one J-Load, and that is Jared Lorenzen. Don't be fooled by imitators.

by TBW (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:54pm

Re 3:

It's a great signing for the Redskins. Atogwe must be a great player to be worth > $5 million per year. Expensive things are always better than things that cost less.

by Theo :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 9:42pm

says the apple fan

by Randy Hedberg (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 4:16pm

How does Bob Sanders fit with Weddle in SD? Both strike me as in-the-box SS types.

by Sjt (not verified) :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 4:37pm

Weddle is a FS. The plan is for the Chargers to re-sign him, and then play both, with Sanders at SS.

by andrew :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 4:42pm

What position does Sanders play?

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y

by dbostedo :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 7:28pm

Bob can dance if he wants to
He can leave In-dy behind

by Bobman :: Sat, 03/05/2011 - 3:00am

Cause Polian don't dance
and if he don't dance,
then he's no friend of... Bob's?

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/05/2011 - 12:50pm

Nice link!

by Key19 :: Sun, 03/06/2011 - 3:59am

The only way this could be cooler is if Atogwe or Sanders did the Safety "S" move during games.

by Dice :: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 10:13pm

I have Weddle and Sanders as my safeties for my Madden fantasy team. Now to start screwing with my RFAs...