The Eagles signed free agent defensive back Marlin Jackson to a two-year deal, the team announced.
Jackson could earn up to a total of $6 million, but most of the money is dependent upon his health and if he starts.
“It’s been a great visit and I think there’s a mutual interest here," Jackson said earlier today before the signing. "They feel that I’m capable of playing corner, safety, nickel and kind of want to see where things shake out and where the biggest need is at and, if I come here, where I will play."
Jackson arrived yesterday and stayed over, but there was no deal by lunch. He went to Jim's Steaks to eat, came back and was nearly out the door at the NovaCare Complex before he was called back.
He said this afternoon that the Eagles have not told him that the free safety job is his to lose -- "Nothing was promised," he said. -- but that is the implication. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said that Jackson would come in and compete at free safety.
“When we watched him on tape we saw that he had a lot of the traits that we look for in a free safety in our defense,” Roseman said. “He’s instinctive, he’s tough, he’s quick and he played a little bit there in Indianapolis. … We thought it was an easy transition for him.”
Roseman called the signing a "risk-reward" move.
The big issue, though, is the 26-year-old's knees. He tore the ACL in his left knee last October a year after tearing the ACL in his other knee.
“I’m at four months in my ACL rehab," Jackson said. "I’m sprinting, running, back-peddling, breaking and certain things like that. So, I’m ahead of schedule and I’ve been blessed so far with my rehab. It’s going very, very smooth. Like I said before, I’m ahead of schedule and I’m very thankful for that."
Jackson said that the Eagles' medical staff gave no indication that they saw anything wrong with his rehabbed. And yet, the Eagles didn't sign Jackson yesterday. The Eagles have been burned on free agents returning from major knee surgeries before (see: Andrews, Stacy).
The Colts were worried enough by his physical condition not the tender Jackson. He said they told him they would.
"I was told so many times that I was going to be tendered," Jackson said. "I was continuously told that, ‘You will be tendered, you will be here.’ And then when it came down to the situation, it wasn’t done."