Heading into free agency, it was clear the Eagles needed bodies at the safety position.
And one day after signing starter Malcolm Jenkins, the team has added some depth with Chris Maragos. Per Adam Caplan, it’s a three-year, $4M deal with $1M guaranteed.
Maragos (5-10, 200) spent the last three seasons with the Seahawks and was originally signed by the 49ers in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin.
The 27-year-old has played 103 snaps on defense in his four-year career, per Pro Football Focus, and has primarily made his contributions on special teams. He had 10 special teams tackles last season, nine in 2012 and 11 in 2011.
Coming out of school, Maragos didn’t get an invite to the combine, and although Pro Day numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, he showed some athleticism, clocking a 4.47.
There’s no doubt Maragos has had to fight to get to where he is. He walked on to the squad at Western Michigan in 2005 and red-shirted his first year before playing wide receiver there in 2006. Then he transferred to Wisconsin and had to sit out 2007. He eventually started 19 games for the Badgers, served as a captain during his senior season and earned honorable mention All Big Ten honors.
In the NFL, Maragos started his career on the 49ers’ practice squad before getting bumped up to their active roster. He then did the same thing in Seattle.
According to The Seattle Times, the Seahawks asked Maragos to take a significant pay cut last summer or face the prospect of being released. He did so and was part of a punt unit that allowed just 82 return yards all season.
From The Seattle Times article:
He is a key member of every special team, including serving as the up back (or the punt protector) on a punt team that threatened to break an NFL record for fewest return yards allowed.
“He kind of runs the whole show there,” said special-teams coach Brian Schneider of Maragos, who finished the season with 10 special-teams tackles to go with three more as Earl Thomas’ backup at free safety.
Maragos also is regarded as one of the team’s fastest players, which he proved often this year on kickoffs. Players race to the 25-yard line, and then if it’s a touchback, to the end zone. Schneider tracks who finishes first at each spot, and gives a point to that player. That player is recognized at the Monday special-teams meeting. Maragos was the season points leader.
For now, the Eagles have Maragos, Jenkins and Earl Wolff as the likely candidates (barring injury) at safety in 2014. The Maragos signing likely signals the end of Colt Anderson’s career with the Eagles. But the team still needs to add a couple more bodies at safety – either through free agency or in the draft.
Nate Allen, Anderson and Kurt Coleman – all members of the 2013 team – are all still unsigned free agents.