Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings had "serious interest" in Atogwe

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Vikings fans, Madieu Williams Updated: June 30, 2011 - 12:35 PM

When the St. Louis Rams released O.J. Atogwe in February, there were more than a few Vikings fans who wondered if the team might attempt to sign the safety.

Turns out the Vikings did pursue him.

Atogwe, who is taking part in workouts this week on the University of Minnesota campus that are organized by Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and strength and conditioning specialist Bill Welle, said Thursday that he spoke briefly with the Vikings before deciding to sign a reported five-year, $26 million deal with Washington.

“There were a lot of teams that showed interest, but maybe a handful of teams that had some serious interest," Atogwe said. "The Vikings were one of the teams, but the timing issue and just where I believe I was being led by God told me to go to the Redskins.”

Atogwe, who will play free safety for the Redskins, has 22 interceptions in six seasons and had a career-high eight in 2007 while playing under former Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Haslett now holds the same job with the Redskins.

The Vikings free safety is Madieu Williams, who has three interceptions in three seasons with the Vikings since being signed as a free agent in 2008.


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