Lions close-lipped about S O.J. Atogwe
ALLEN PARK — If the Lions are interested in signing free agent safety O.J. Atogwe, they are not saying. The 28-year-old veteran, who has played five seasons with the Rams, could be a perfect fit to play alongside Louis Delmas.
“I’m never going to say who we are or who we aren’t interested in because it doesn’t help us in any way at all,’’ Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said on Thursday.
Atogwe became an unrestricted free agent when he did not reach a deal with the St. Louis Rams before midnight on Tuesday.
Coach Jim Schwartz would not be specific about Atogwe, but said, “Every chance we have to improve the team we’ll explore and we’ll leave it there.’’
He has said repeatedly that the Lions could sign a player between the draft and the start of training camp who will help win a game next season.
Atogwe’s salary demands are reportedly high, but that wouldn’t necessarily prevent the Lions from signing him.
“Mr. Ford has been incredible to giving us the resources we need to get this job done. We couldn’t have done what you mentioned before — (Kyle) Vanden Bosch or (Nate) Burleson — without strong commitment from the Ford family. That’s stuff that Tom (Lewand) and Martin (Mayhew) have to weigh and things like that,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said. “Everybody needs to be on the same page.’’
The Rams could eventually re-sign Atogwe, but other teams have shown interest also.
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