Eagles Add Safety Maragos

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

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.

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  • Uncle Wonder

    3 to 2 odds Nate Allen is back

    • Joe from Easton

      I agree, he’s coming back. I see Jenkins as the starting FS going into the season with Wolff as the starting SS at this point. Allen will back up Jenkins or come in for dime sets.

      • Septhinox

        No he’s not. It quite clear that they are NOT bringing him back. They will draft a safety and possibly bring in a UDFA as well.

        • Joe from Easton

          I think they’re letting him see that the market isn’t there and they’ll get him back on the cheap. He showed some flashes last year of being the player he looked like in his rookie season, so if he can be had at the right price I’d like to see him back.

        • Dominik

          I’d like one more signing, one more via draft. Jenkins/FA/Wolff/Draft/Maragos – depending on the draft and the FA :D, but could be a solid group.

      • Uncle Wonder

        I expect an open competition. Nate wasnt TERRIBLE last year by any stretch, though not a huge playmaker. Its just hard for him to get the stink off from the prior few seasons in the eyes of the fanbase. He has a year under his belt in the system though so there are certainly worse options than him.

        • Joe from Easton

          Yea, I agree. I just remember him as a rookie. He was having a good season until the PCL tear. That’s a lengthy recovery process and he did it late in the year (week 13ish?). Basically the next season was a wash and then he had a year under Juan Castillo and our famous wide-9 which basically asked him to be a linebacker. I can easily see how he was in a position to underwhelm. I haven’t completely given up on the guy yet. This fan base forgets that we liked him a lot as a rookie.

          • Maggie

            Some of this fan base forgets yesterday was Tuesday.

          • woody7236

            good one….nice

    • GEAGLE

      So a player we had exclusive negotiation rights for over a month, we decided to wait til other teams can bid on him to sign him?

      Expect the safety we sign to be a quality ST player, for when our young safeties take his spot…I don rules out Nate completely. But I’d take your 3-2odds all day!

      • dislikedisqus

        It could be Allen wanted to find out his value on the market. It could be he knows he has the option to come back to PHI for $x but wants to see if he can get more. I would be fine if he did actually.

    • jabostick

      It takes two to tango though. I’m not sure Nate would want to come back. Obviously I don’t know what other personal factors there are, but he’s been ripped most of his time here, I’d think he’d want a fresh start (and I’d think there’d be at least a bit of a market for him)

  • Dominik

    The question is: will he be the second safety we simply had to sign or is he our #4/#5 Safety + ST ace (Andersons role)?

    Second question would be: why did Seattle let him go, if he’s that valuable on ST? Maybe SC problems (that would be a good reason for us).

    • Joe from Easton

      Seattle needs to save cash where ever they can. A million a year on a special teams ace isn’t going to work for a team that has a bunch of talent to resign in the coming years.

    • Septhinox

      SIGH…Teams can’t resign ALL of their players ALL the time.

      He is the real deal on special teams.

    • GEAGLE

      Interesting question….I still think there is a chance we add a cheaper safety like Nate,Major, the dude from Ravens, r Bush(saints won’t have the money to match that offer)…we really need to have two veteran safeties on the roster…Jenkins, another veteran, Wolff and Buchanon would be the est safeties we have had since Dawk(tallest midget in the room syndrom)..

      • Token

        you told us there was no way Chung was getting released

  • Joe from Easton

    Chalk us up for a trip to AZ! haha… gotta have a laugh where possible.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    replacing non athletic safeties with some athletic ones. I like it. that unit needed a face lift.

    • Richard Colton

      If he takes Curt Coleman’s vacant spot – I’m fine. Don’t need to see him on D though.

  • G_WallyHunter

    Not a bad deal, paid 855k last year by Seahawks, after taking a paycut from original 1.32m, mind you we don’t know how skilled he is

  • G_WallyHunter

    Just sit back and enjoy the ride, and enjoy some of the best rock in the world while you’re at it

    • Adam

      Upvote for anything The Hip

      • Maggie

        Canadians know rock and roll!!

  • GEAGLE

    This is a really nice signing, but you can’t think of him as a defender. He is basically a better version of Colt Anderson…If we add Corey Graham with this kid! our ST will be headed to the top
    ..
    I know people hate our signings so far, but one thing I really really like these past two years is the emphasis n bringing in players from good teams who are used to being winners! you don’t see us poaching Raiders. We sign Texans,Ravens, Seahawks!Saints…..heck, half of our starting secondary has a Super Bowl ring with Jenk n Cary…

    Really hoping the next two orders of business are Corey Graham, and Alex Carrington. Tho I wouldn’t mind to see us convince Ware,Peppers or Woodly to take a diminished role as a 3rd down pass rusher(helping preserve their bodies)….

    My only beef so far with Howie is that I think Micheal Johnson was a big time blown opportunity, and once we saved money on Chung we should have added Ward and Jenkins…let’s see what OL Howie has up his sleeves for today

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I agree with most everything you said, but think M. Johnson was waaaaaay overpaid. Would have been a nice get, but not at that price. Prime example of Howie’s “a/b guys getting a+++ money”

    • Richard Colton

      He looks like Mike Kafka

  • cliff henny

    good signing. let’s not bash it for what it isn’t. 3rd/4th safety on a team friendly contract, these are the guys we want coming off the bench.

  • GEAGLE

    Giants got Rashard Jennings, nice RB

    • Average__Joseph

      Liked him a lot coming out of college…was hoping the Eagles would have taken a flyer on him that year since he dropped all the way to the 7th round.

  • Dilwala_G

    I’d really like to see eagles keep it up in the secondary, get Rafael Bush and bring back Allen for backup money (or incentives contract) if they can. Also Cory Graham, and maybe a flier on a cost-effective vet (champ bailey? He could compete for safety too). No rule that you can’t cut one of these guys after training camp competition (see Kenny Phillips). Also, suspect Demarcus Ware and Peppers will want too much money, but would love Ware on a 2 year deal

  • mike

    This signing is fine, it’s the Jenkins signing that sucks. It was anounced about 5 min after Jaws said he sucks

    • Dilwala_G

      No offense to jaws who I respect, but I think chip Kelly is likely a better talent evaluator right now. And he studied Jenkins for the playoff game

      • mike

        And the team who he played for sacrificed Sproles because they felt they needed to upgrade the position. That’s the most telling part

        • Dilwala_G

          Maybe saints are going for an A+ safety core and secondary (Vaccaro and Byrd) – but frankly, I’d settle for a B-minus secondary, would be a huge upgrade over last year. We don’t need the Seattle D to win the Super Bowl

          • Dilwala_G

            The team we are building is going to be exceptional on the offensive side and just needs to be solid in D (12-15th in the league) and above average on ST (btw – would love sproles as a kr/pr and as pass catching back, but not sure he’d come to philly and back up shady)

          • Mugzy Payton

            How many superbowl winners had a mid-level defense?

          • Dilwala_G

            In last 10 years – colts, saints, giants (2x), and packers

          • Mugzy Payton

            The Giants who shut down the highest scoring offense in NFL history? The packers who were #2 in scoring defense? Colts had the #2 and #1 scoring defense the year before and after the Superbowl, so their D was very good too. The only one you have is the Saints

          • Dilwala_G

            Mugzy, you got me wondering, so I did some google checking. Found this article, think its really interesting, worth a look – http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nfl/does-offense-or-defense-win-super-bowl-championships.aspx

            In particular, this guy charted the average offensive rank and defensive rank since 1978, 2004, and 2009 for superbowl champions, superbowl losers, and playoff teams.

            Turns out – since 2009 SB champs average rank is 8.5, while their average defensive rank is 18.5

            Its less stark since 2004, but still, SB champs on average are better offensively than defensively.

            FWIW

          • Eagles4Life

            Tell me where you see a 12-15 defense coming from? I agree that’s what is needed, but there’s no way you can see that coming from what we’ve done thus far or what’s remaining out there with FAs. Draft is another story, but come on man.

          • Mugzy Payton

            Adding a C+ safety to C corners, C+ LBs and C Dline makes a D defense

          • Clamdigger

            Cool story, bro.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Actually that would average out to a C overall. I think you’re under rating the DL though with a C. Those guys are not supposed to be your big playmakers anymore. So based on the change in scheme & their play last yr, I’d give them a B.

            Speaking of change in scheme…based on the signings in the secondary the past 2yrs, it appears that Chip is remaining true to his word that he wants an attacking D. Add that pass rushing ROLB & another guy that can add depth at both spots & that could very well be a nasty front 7. I think the plan is to build the defense up with youth from front to back.

          • Kev_H

            Maybe they think making a run at Revis is a better use of their money. I’d rather get him with the money it would have took to land Byrd.

    • JaketheSnake

      don’t get hung up on what jaworski says…he watches film but he’s a blowhard and doesn’t work for an nfl team for a reason

  • Token

    Another ST ace that cant play a position. We already have have the roster filled with those type of guys.

    • Maggie

      The Eagles also have half a roster that can’t play ST, either. Remember all the whining about upgrading the Special Teams? Well, they upgrade the ST and STILL the whining continues. “Howie’s no good ‘cos he didn ‘t do what MY precious self wanted him to do.”

  • Mike

    Jenkins played several years for Saints defense, which was one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Jenkins lost his job last year to rookie Vaccaro. Now Saints dump Jenkins, and upgrade tremendously to Byrd……..and Eagles sign Saints reject Jenkins.

    • jcwhy

      In Chip We Trust… itll all make sense just like last years signings, draft, leadership, etc lead us to the playoffs… let the plan come to fruition first….if not satisfied then complain.

      • Mugzy Payton

        Many of last year’s signings didn’t work out. Chung & Casey. Phillips, Peterson and Williams were vanilla at best.

        • jcwhy

          Of course but we got 2 decent CBs out of it… cant call that an overall loss… but thanks for only looking at the negatives.

          • Mugzy Payton

            They signed 2 safeties last year and this year we needed to sign 2 safeties again… sooo

          • jcwhy

            needed two corners last year..i think Chipper and Howie accomplished SOMETHING in FA by my count… Nate was already here and wolff was drafted… which CB did they draft? If nate would have started the season the way he ended it we wouldnt be to unhappy, and if wolff wasnt hurt we might not even be talking S…

          • Mugzy Payton

            lol. Nate sucks. He improved from cut to practice squad last year. Wolff is a total question mark. He showed potential, but didn’t play well.

          • jcwhy

            didn’t say he was all-pro. hes a serviceable backup who started for us out of necessity. Wolff flashed some signs he will be able to play in the NFL.. he was hurt, he played adequately for a rookie in a new scheme.. but take it easy, still in FA and not even done yet.

          • Maggie

            Are there only safeties on a football team?

        • Warhound

          What about Barwin?

    • Clamdigger

      Thanks for the recap, Captain Obvious.

    • Nfl All Day

      In fairness, the Super Bowl year and last year the Saints had pretty good defenses.

      • Maggie

        I agree. And didn’t the Saints bring in a different DC because their defense was not very good? Before proclaiming anybody as bad, have to consider the TEAM around them. And the coaching around them.

  • Eagles4Life

    *looks at headline* *laughs uncontrollably* *sits in corner with palms covering face*

  • http://batman-news.com theedevilsadvocate

    was hoping to wake up to great news… im salty as hell right now but oh well hope byrd sucks for the saints… i hate the saints…

  • johnnysanz3

    Adding a backup from a dominant defense is never a bad thing in my view. A lot of times these guys are underrated being stuck behind pro bowl players on dominant defenses. I like it.

  • Nfl All Day

    I like this signing a lot. For the role he’ll play, his stock can only rise.

  • ICDogg

    • guest

      were some of these highlights from preseason games or did he actually get some playing time during games?

  • morgan c

    I mean, depth signing, special teams ace. Good signing. But let’s not pretend this guy could be an answer at safety.

  • Engwrite

    I assume he will get a chance to compete for the FS spot. From the description above we are told he is fast and can tackle. He must also be an overachiever/hungry/frustrated player. Considering the Seattle starting safeties, I don’t imagine the 3rd safety would get on the field a lot.
    Would it be possible, if this kid wins the FS spot, that Jenkins would shift to the slot defender while Boykin takes one of the corner spots? That would give the team a lot more flexibility.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I don’t think Maragos is that guy. He’ll most likely compete with Wolff, if anyone, for a starting role. But I don’t see him specifically being that good to force a complete shift in the secondary as you’ve laid out. He’s here to replace Colt as that STs ace, but is a better option at S than both Colt & Coleman were. So he’s an upgrade at the 3rd S spot & upgrade to STs. Anything beyond that is gravy on top.

    • Maggie

      The Eagles have said repeatedly that they want Boykin inside. It’s possible they change their minds, of course, but don’t “book it.”

  • Explorer51

    Some of you folks have to lighten up; either you trust Kelly, Roseman, and Gamble or you don’t but even the most negative among you have to admit they have a plan…and they are obviously sticking to it. Before yesterday, those three were considered smart for locking up Peters, Kelce, Maclin, and Cooper (looking at the cost of good O-line players in FA I’d say it was brilliant); then yesterday, they re-signed our ST MVP Donnie Jones and dumped Chung, picking up one of the Saints’ team captains and versatile player Jenkins to, ostensibly, fill his position. The next couple of weeks will show that the Eagles are looking for upgrades and depth in multiple spots…remember, they don’t have a ton of draft picks so, from a sheer numbers perspective, the depth isn’t coming from there.

    So if you want to jump off the bandwagon after the first 18 hours of FA, go ahead but maybe you might want to consider two words first: patience & trust.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Well said. I was disappointed we didn’t get Byrd as much as anyone. But in seeing that deal he signed, I’m glad we didn’t pay that. So what did we do? We release Chung & upgrade with Jenkins. We then upgrade the 3rd S spot and STs with Maragos. Let’s not kid ourselves people. Colt & Coleman were good STs but even with our crop of safeties last yr, there was a significant drop off from even Nate & Wolff to Colt & Coleman. Maragos makes that drop off from your starters less significant & helps build up & improve the safety position.

    • BleedGreenJames

      Beautiful. +1

  • Kev_H

    Personally, to me, this is a dream come true signing. Maragos is the kind of player on which championships are built. Never been one to buy lots of sports merchandise, but I’d consider buying Foles and or Maragos jerseys. Write it down, he’s going to be a big deal for the Eagles.

    • Kev_H

      You can learn a little what he’s about at makingofachampion.org, a film and effort put together in October 2013. Turns out those guys in the movie ended up as football champions too.

  • PhiEagles14

    Is it just me, or does anyone else wanna see Colt re-signed? That dude is an ace, and I know we just got an “upgrade” but whats so bad about having Colt on the roster? Jenkins, _______, wolff, margos, and anderson. as our safeties. Idk man, just really like the dude, think he has done well for us, maybe lose an extra LB (mathews) over him.

    Also what about the LB we signed last year from Carolina, isn’t he an “Special Teams Ace” as well?

  • TheSauceAge

    I love the moves we’ve made, we’ve upgraded the safety position, we’ve really upgraded our over all ST’s units, and let’s not forget the draft is right around the corner. I read a letter addressed to our front office today written by Jimmy K . I have to say Jimmy does a lot of whining in his assessment, the only facts he brings to the table are provided by the stat junkies’ bible PFF. When looking at who’s avail