BY JARED NAGLE, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles have signed CB Marlin Jackson to a two-year contract. With the Eagles depth at corner it is apparent the front office views Jackson as a safety going forward.
I expect Jackson to compete with incumbent starting FS Macho Harris for the starting free safety position in training camp.
Marlin Jackson, 26, was non-tendered as a restricted free agent by the Indianapolis Colts last week. Originally a first round pick out of Michigan back in 2005, Jackson has seen his career derailed by two ACL tears during his five-year career, including one last year that ended his season prematurely.
When healthy Jackson has been a very solid corner in the league best known for his tackling ability, which is vital in the Tampa-2 scheme the Colts are known to employ. This strong tackling ability, along with his experience in a pinch at safety while with the Colts, is likely the reason the Eagles feel he can make the permanent switch to free safety. Reportedly Jackson expects to be healthy in time for training camp.
For the Eagles this development likely means the team will turn it’s attention elsewhere with their first round pick (D-line?). There will undoubtedly be skepticism regarding this move as the Eagles made a similar move last season when they signed former Browns FS Sean Jones to a one year deal who was also coming off an ACL tear. While Jones was arguably their best free safety a year ago, it was obvious that he had not returned to his previous level of play coming off a serious knee injury.
Considering Jackson was signed to a short term contract that likely won’t exceed $3 or $4 million per year, I feel as though this is a low risk/high reward signing. In a best case scenario situation, Jackson, who is only 26-years-old, recovers from his injury and solidifies the Eagles free safety position with his top notch tackling ability and range in coverage.
Unfortunately, Birds fans tend to see the glass half empty. I expect a “believe it when I see it” approach by Eagles nation.
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