The Philadelphia Eagles opted to use the second day of free agency to upgrade their special teams.
They agreed to terms with safety Chris Maragos and linebacker Bryan Braman on Wednesday in an effort to improve their coverage units.
Maragos, who earned a Super Bowl ring last season with Seattle, received a three-year contract reportedly worth $4 million with $1 million guaranteed. Braman, who played with Houston, got a two-year deal reportedly worth $3.15 million with $1 million guaranteed.
Both will vie for backup spots on the Eagles’ defense, but were added primarily for their ability to play special teams.
Maragos, 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, played three seasons for the Seahawks after spending the 2010 season with San Francisco. He registered 10 tackles on special teams and three more on defense for Seattle. The 27-year-old was considered the Seahawks’ best special teams player.
“I know my value,” Maragos told the Seattle Times in January. “In my opinion, I am one of the better special-teamers in the league. And I think when you turn on the tape and see what other teams are going, they would agree with that, too.”
Braman has the same reputation in the NFL.
The 6-foot-5, 241-pounder was voted as an alternate to the Pro Bowl last season. He registered 31 tackles in three seasons for the Texans, including 16 in 2012. That year, he also set Houston’s franchise record by blocking two punts.
The 26-year-old could also compete for playing time at outside linebacker, along with former Texans teammates Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. He was also teammates with tight end James Casey and linebacker DeMeco Ryans in Houston.
“You don’t find many players of Bryan’s size with the ability to run down the field and make plays on special teams,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Wednesday in a statement. “It’s an area of the game that we always have our eye on and look to improve. With his size, we also like his potential as a guy who can compete for a spot as an outside linebacker.”
Maragos and Braman, who is not related to former Eagles owner Norman Braman, joined safety Malcolm Jenkins as players the Eagles have added since the free-agent signing period began at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Jenkins, a former starter for New Orleans, signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract that included $8.5 million guaranteed Tuesday.
In addition, they re-signed punter Donnie Jones for three years after previously retaining wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, and defensive end Cedric Thornton. They also signed center Jason Kelce to a seven-year extension and extended tackle Jason Peters’ contract for five years.
They released wide receiver Jason Avant and safety Patrick Chung.
Jenkins and Maragos leave the Eagles with four safeties currently on the roster along with second-year players Earl Wolff and Keelan Johnson. Colt Anderson and Kurt Coleman are not expected to return, but the Eagles are said to be strongly considering re-signing safety Nate Allen to team with Jenkins in the back of the secondary.
Allen, a second-round Eagles’ draft pick in 2010, is coming off his best season. He recorded a career-best 94 tackles with a sack and an interception under new defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
The Eagles are also believed to be interested in signing free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was released by Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
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