Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Mar 2010

Eagles Sign Marlin Jackson

Hoping that he can get over his torn ACL, the Eagles gave former Colts standout Marlin Jackson a two-year deal on Wednesday. Philly will hope that he can move to free safety, where Jackson played as a junior in college and for eight games in his second season as a pro.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 10 Mar 2010

15 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2010, 4:12am by sports-veronica


by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 8:02pm

Hmmm... I would have thought the Eagles would know better than to draft Colt zone defenders to play in their scheme. I've got two words for the Philly front office:

"Jason David".

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 12:38am

Jason David wasn't good with the Colts.

by DavidL :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 8:32pm

They hope he can get healthy, and they hope he can switch positions full-time.

I'm not getting my hopes up.

by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 9:41pm

I'm thinking it's pretty dangerous to sign players when your expectations for them include the word "hope" twice in one sentence.

by Alex51 :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 4:13am

True, but the Eagles can afford to take those kinds of risks, especially given an uncapped year, so I don't see a problem with this signing. It can't hurt, and we could be getting a pretty good FS out of this. Still, I'd be surprised if the Eagles didn't get a DB or two in the draft.

by mjb :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 11:44pm

According to Adam Schefter he was signed for just 2 years for up to $6 Million, with him getting paid $2 Million this year. Not a bad deal, the Eagles at best just signed their new starting FS. If that doesn't work out he could still shift over and play in the nickel package as a CB.

I would still expect the Eagles to still target a Safety in the draft though. As this appears to be a "show me" contract where he will likely be cut next season if he cannot play this season. This is especially true within the current NFL environment where there is no salary cap, which means that there will be no cap hits for cutting players.

by bubqr :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 4:49am

I still think Macho Harris can be a solid to good FS in this league, but I might be one of the few Eagles fans to think so. So unless the Eagles can get Earl Thomas, or maybe Nate Allen, I don't see anyone else than Macho getting the job.

by Independent George :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 11:16am

I agree, but, I don't think I'd feel the same way if he were named, say, Clancy Harris. The loss of Macho Harris will be even more upsetting to me than the loss of Mack Strong or Guy Whimper.

by Dean :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 11:22am

I totally disagree.

The fact of the matter is that while he might try hard, he simply lacks the speed and agility to play in the secondary on the NFL level.

If he stuck around, he might gain savvy and experience, but if he already lacks the physical ability, imagine what happens when the physical side starts to decline!

by bubqr :: Fri, 03/12/2010 - 4:44am

Q.Mikell is a worse athlete than Macho, and he looked like an All Pro in 08. I know I'm a bit too optimistic, but I guess we'll see.

by tuluse :: Sat, 03/13/2010 - 6:05pm

I think you have a strange idea of what an all-pro safety looks like, especially with all those years watching Dawkins.

by Lola was a dude (not verified) :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 9:40am

As a Colts fan, I'm somewhat sad to see him go, but not overly so. I was surprised that the Colts didn't put some kind of RFA tender on him. Talent is not his problem -- when healthy, he's good enough to be a starter in the NFL. He's just been hit hard with injuries, apparently to the point that the Colts feel he's not even worth a roster spot in an uncapped year.

by Dean :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 9:46am

It's a 2 year deal, but it's really a one-year "prove it" deal.

I don't have a problem with them signing a low-risk, high upside guy, and maybe they catch lightning in a bottle with Jackson.

The thing I don't like about this is that knowing how the Eagles operate, this probably means that they will not go after Atogwe, who I think gives them more upside and less downside.

by Venger :: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 8:54pm

They're asking a premier zone corner to switch positions and play as a primarily deep-zone safety. That's not exactly much of a stretch; as a zone corner for the Colts, you know that he's capable of making tackles in space. They won't ask him to play in the box or blitz the QB, as that is Quinton Mikell's job; he'll likely be ranging back 95% of the time. In that regard, he'll certainly be an upgrade over the black hole that was Sean Jones/Macho Harris in coverage. Hopefully (there's that word again) this will give Harris the opportunity to switch back to being the primarily man-corner he was in college, giving him a better chance to succeed.

Really, though. Whatever happened to Quinton Demps? In 2008 he was considered to be the obvious heir apparent to Brian Dawkins. Then he had one bad (awful) game against the Cardinals in the 2008-9 NFC Championship Game and never got another shot.