The Eagles announced they're signing Colts free agent corner/safety Marlin Jackson to a 2-year deal, which sources close to the situation said could be worth $6 million if he is a healthy starter both seasons, $2 million in 2010. As we speculated yesterday, the plan is for him to take over at free safety.
Jackson met with reporters today at NovaCare, hours before the signing was announced, and then again afterward. So we feel like we've gotten more from him already than we got from, say, Asante Samuel, all last season.
Jackson gave an upbeat appraisal of his recovery from his second ACL surgery in two years, this time to his left knee, and he spoke of "mutual interest" expressed during his visit.
Jackson, 26, made a good point -- that clean ACL repairs generally don't result in further problems.If he indeed is healthy enough to play by training camp, and back to his old form by early November, the one-year-anniversary of his most recent injury, Jackson might represent a good value to a team that needs secondary help..
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman praised Jackson as "an aggressive downhill player" whom the Birds coveted in the 2005 draft and were surprised to see left untendered by the Colts, even with the knee injuries. Roseman said the team feels playing free safety in the Birds' defense will be "an easy transition" for Jackson, who said he expects to be able to work out by OTAs and to be full-go by training camp.
Roseman said this was "a different situation" than signing ACL victim Stacy Andrews a year ago. Andrews, a guard and tackle, was slow to regain his normal athleticism and barely got on the field last season, perhaps partly because of a tough transition to offensive line coach Juan Castillo's way of doing things.
Roseman called the signing "a risk-reward move."
"I think the most appealing thing about the deal was that it’s a winning franchise," Jackson said after the signing. "Like I said before, winning is the most important thing for me, and I came from a winning franchise, and that was a key thing. Of all my visits, I wanted to take visits to places that win. The opportunity here to play free safety and to play nickel was very appealing. This defense is a very aggressive, tough, physical defense and that’s the type of player that I feel I am. I feel that I bring a lot to the free safety position, as far as being able to have some coverage ability and being able to blitz and being able to tackle well.
"I played free safety my junior year in college and I then played eight games at free safety in my second year in the league. I started eight games at free safety for the Colts. So, I’m very comfortable with it. I’ve been a corner, but I’ve been a nickel back and I’ve always been a physical corner. So, playing safety, that aspect of the game, the physicality, is nothing new to me. Being inside the box and having to be physical within there, I’m used to those things.”