Chris Maragos

Eagles Cut Down To 53

The Eagles’ receiving corps became a bit younger on Saturday. Two veterans brought in as possible depth pieces — Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken — were informed they will be released.

So was potential secondary cog De’Vante Bausby and rookie UDFA running back Josh Adams, given one of this year’s largest guarantees among the undrafted contingent. Philadelphia also placed safety Chris Maragos on its Reserve/PUP list, shelving him for at least six weeks.

Here are the players the Eagles will not be including on their initial 2018 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list

Eagles S Chris Maragos Reworks Deal

Eagles defensive back Chris Maragos has agreed to a reworked deal that will eliminate the 2019 season of his contract, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s unclear if Maragos gave up anything financially in order to hit free agency a year earlier than was previously scheduled. Maragos was due a base salary of $1.75MM in 2018, and Yates reports Maragos will now earn “up to” $1.75MM this season, so it’s possible the veteran defender agreed to a lower salary with incentives that can bring him back to even.

Maragos had been set to earn a $2MM base salary in 2019, but that figure will now be removed from the Eagles’ books next season. As part of a three-year, $6MM extension he inked in 2016, Maragos received a $1MM signing bonus, which prorated onto his salary cap charges. As such, Philadelphia is still responsible for Maragos’ $250K in 2019 bonus money.

Maragos, 31, ended last season on injured reserve with a PCL issue, and his lengthy recovery has forced him on to the physically unable to perform list. He hasn’t participated in any of the Eagles’ training camp sessions or preseason games, and it appears that he’ll remain on PUP to begin the regular season. That designation would force Maragos to miss at least six games to begin the 2018 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Place S Chris Maragos On IR

The Eagles are placing safety Chris Maragos on injured reserve, the team announced. The knee injury is a season-ender, so we will not see him back on the field in eight weeks. To fill his roster spot, the team has signed fifth-round rookie Nate Gerry off of the practice squad. Chris Maragos (vertical)

It’s hard. Not only a great football player, but a great person, great man,” head coach Doug Pederson said (via NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks). “Great leader on the team in the locker room…next man has to step up and fill that role.”

Maragos – the Eagles’ special teams captain – contributed primarily in the third facet of the game. Without him, Pederson says the team will have to rely on others in the special teams mix to step it up. That group includes safety Corey Graham, running back Corey Clement, and safety Jaylen Watkins, according to the coach. The Eagles can also be expected to sign someone to fill his spot on the roster.

Maragos is under contract in 2018 for $2MM, but the team can save $1.5MM in cap space by cutting him. Though he is a vital special teamer, the injury could put his Philly future in flux.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Forte, Gronk, Pats, Fins, Eagles

Before signing a three-year, $12MM deal with the Jets in free agency last March, running back Matt Forte also drew interest from the AFC East rival Patriots, he told Connor Hughes of NJ.com Wednesday. The Pats’ attempt to woo him came too late, however. “My agent told me they called. I asked if they talked about anything, and he said they just wanted me to come for a visit,” said Forte. “I said I’m already here about to sign, so, I didn’t feel like that would be right.”

Forte has been productive in his age-30 season (911 total yards, eight touchdowns), but the 3-7 Jets are out of playoff contention and the 8-2 Patriots are the division’s top team. Statistically, New England’s No. 1 back, bargain signing LeGarrette Blount, is having a better season on the ground than Forte. Blount has piled up 802 rushing yards (compared to Forte’s 732) to go with a slightly superior per-carry average (4.0 to 3.9) and 12 scores.

More from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is not expected to play Sunday against Forte’s Jets, per Dianna Russini of ESPN (Twitter link). Gronkowski suffered a perforated lung Nov. 13 in a loss to the Seahawks and missed the Patriots’ win over the 49ers last week as a result. The all-world weapon has sat out a total of three games this year, but New England hasn’t yet lost without him.
  • Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor admitted he’s fighting a “mental battle,” and head coach Doug Pederson won’t commit to playing him Monday against Green Bay, writes Tim McManus of ESPN.com. A reduced role for Agholor is a “real possibility,” Pederson said Wednesday, adding that Agholor has seen a sports psychologist recently. “Every team has them and I think it’s good, whether they’re going through stuff or not, to keep talking through some issues,” stated Pederson. Agholor hasn’t lived up to his first-round draft status on the field since going 20th overall in the 2015 draft. Plus, as of late October, he was under league investigation for an offseason rape accusation that didn’t lead to charges.
  • Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan practiced Wednesday for the first time in almost two years and “felt good,” but whether he’ll play this season is up in the air. “I don’t know,” Jordan told Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. “It’s kind of hard to tell. It’s my health, man. It’s my body. If my body tells me I’m not ready to go out there and perform with the best athletes, I’m not going to put myself out there. The way everything’s been going, it’s been going well. I’ve got high hopes for myself to go out and compete before the season ends.” Jordan, whom the Dolphins chose third overall in the 2013 draft, has missed 32 of 58 regular-season games – 22 because of various suspensions – and has been out all of this year after undergoing two knee surgeries in the summer.
  • The Eagles signed special teamers Donnie Jones (punter), Chris Maragos (safety) and Jon Dorenbos (long snapper) to contract extensions last week. Details on the deals Jones and Maragos inked are now out, via Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter links): Jones’ three-year pact is worth $5.5MM ($1MM fully guaranteed) and maxes out at $5.8MM with Pro Bowl incentives. Maragos’ extension, also for three years, is worth $6MM ($2.25MM fully guaranteed) and carries a $6.3MM max with Pro Bowl incentives.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Eagles Extend Chris Maragos

The Eagles and safety Chris Maragos have agreed to a three-year contract extension, per a team announcement. Financial details aren’t yet available, but the deal will keep Maragos under Philadelphia’s control through the 2019 campaign.

“His work ethic, team-first attitude, accountability and high character are things he brings to work every single day,” said Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman.

Maragos, a seven-year veteran who’s in his third season with the Eagles, is solely a factor on special teams. The 29-year-old Maragos has taken the field for just one defensive snap this season, but he has seen action in 79.6 percent of the Eagles’ special teams plays and made a club-high eight tackles. Thanks in part to Maragos, the Eagles’ ST unit is the NFL’s best, per Football Outsiders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Kelly, Matthews, Carroll, Long, Barkley, Villanueva

Eagles second-rounder Jordan Matthews “caught everything thrown his way and lined up both inside and outside,” according to Phillymag.com’s Sheil Kapadia, who took stock of the team’s draft picks now that spring work has concluded. Kapadia expects Matthews to emerge as the team’s No. 1 slot receiver.

Other Eagles tidbits:

  • Head coach Chip Kelly held a press this week and was again asked about the unceremonious divorce from DeSean Jackson, but Kelly made it clear that he’s not in the message sending business. Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times relayed that bit of information as well as a related quote from center Jason Kelce which indicates that, while the Jackson release resonated, it has not affected the team’s stability: “As opposed to the way a lot of the media portrays it I don’t think that the release was solely on character things and a lot of other things, I think that might be something that’s been played out way too far. I think there are a lot of different factors. His release has not changed in my mind anything about the way this organization runs, the culture of it or anything.”
  • Free agent acquisition Nolan Carroll and 2013 undrafted free agent Travis Long were among a handful of under-the-radar players highlighted by Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Now two years removed from a reconstructed ACL, Long is pushing for a roster spot and has drawn praise from Kelly.
  • Long would help his chances of making the roster by proving himself valuable on special teams, an area the Eagles have made a concerted effort to improve, notes ESPN’s Phil Sheridan: “The Eagles added Bryan Braman, a linebacker who excelled on special teams in Houston, and cornerback Nolan Carroll, an excellent gunner on coverage teams. Safety Chris Maragos was a special teams regular for Seattle last year. Darren Sproles, who will see plenty of time on offense, is a first-rate return man.”
  • Is Matt Barkley‘s arm strength a major concern? Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com thinks so.
  • Army product Alejandro Villanueva, an undrafted free agent, is a long shot, but his work ethic is noteworthy and worth reading about. Kelly told team website writer Bo Wulf he’s “amazed at everything that Alejandro does.”

Eagles Agree To Sign Chris Maragos

The Eagles have agreed to terms on a contract for safety and special teams standout Chris Maragos, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twittter link). According to Caplan, Maragos’ new deal will be a three-year pact worth $4MM, with $1MM guaranteed, and could max out at $5.3MM due to incentives (Twitter link).

Maragos, 27, spent the last three seasons with the Seahawks, playing occasionally on defense but primarily serving as a special teams ace. According to Pro Football Focus, the Wisconsin alum has recorded 26 tackles on special teams in the last three years.

Caplain notes (via Twitter) that several teams were in the mix for Maragos, including the Redskins.

Redskins Rumors: Mitchell, Sproles, Maragos

The latest from D.C..

  • There’s nothing imminent between the Redskins and Mike Mitchell, tweets Zac Boyer of the Washington Times. There are still several teams going after the Carolina safety.
  • Mike Jones of the Washington Post (on Twitter) hears that Darren Sproles is a possibility for the Redskins but another source views it as a longshot. Albert Breer of NFL Network (Twitter link) says the Vikings are a landing spot for the running back.
  • Seattle safety Chris Maragos could be a possibility for the Redskins, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Margos is known mostly for his special teams work.