The Eagles got ‘Greedy’ on Thursday night/early Friday morning and got the deal done.
In fact, they got multiple ones completed, starting with the official stop-and-start agreement with Darius Slay that gave the veteran Pro Bowl cornerback $23 million in guarantees in return for some significant 2023 cap relief.
The details of Slay’s new deal will be heaving scrutinized whenever they drop but the early tea leaves point to a team-friendly deal where the Eagles’ calculated gamble of allowing Slay’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to test the market cashed in.
With added maneuverability, Philadelphia came to terms with cornerback Greedy Williams on a one-year deal and then inked a backup quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who was once the toast of the town in Philadelphia during the Chip Kelly era when many fans championed a “Do the Deal” groundswell eight years before Tennessee stayed put and turned down a king’s ransom that included Sam Bradford, Fletcher Cox and draft picks, instead selecting Mariota at No. 2 overall in the 2015 draft.
Williams, 25, a 2019 second-round pick out of LSU by Cleveland in 2019 will get the opportunity to reboot his career as an intern behind two of the savviest outside corners in the game, Slay and James Bradberry.
It’s a prudent decision by GM Howie Roseman to bring in a talented player at a cost-effective price with two over 30 CBs holding down the starting jobs. Both Slay and Bradberry stayed healthy last season and extended playing time from top backup Zech McPhearson was never needed.
Assuming that will happen might be too much to ask so pushing McPhearson with competition from Williams and a developing Josh Jobe could work out nicely. Also, if the 6-foot-2 Williams does begin to tap into his impressive traits, perhaps the Eagles will kick McPhearson inside to the slot which would open up a number of possibilities including playing Avonte Maddox in more of a hybrid role.
As for Mariota he never lived up to the hype with the Titans and after a spell as the backup to Derek Carr with the Raiders, Mariota got one more opportunity to prove himself as a starting QB for the Falcons last season.
The Oregon product started 13 games before being benched and ultimately released by Atlanta.
The Eagles got him for $5 million with another $3M in potential incentives if Mariota has to play, a clearance aisle price compared to what once could have been. The veteran is certainly more gifted than former backup Gardner Minshew, who is now in Indianapolis with Shane Steichen, and a better fit for the Eagles’ RPO-heavy offense.
That said, Mariota is just another backup now. Perhaps a more competent QB2 but one you cross your fingers and hope you never have to play.