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Eagles Unable to Reel in Marlin...Yet

Marlin Stays Over But Does Not Sign
By Lance Epstein

Yesterday afternoon, free agent defensive back Marlin Jackson met with the Eagles at the NovaCare Complex. This morning Jackson met the media and said there is mutual interest between the Eagles and himself, but no contract is on the horizon.

The former Colt was allowed by Indianapolis to test the open market as a unrestricted free agent by the Colts not tendering him.

"I was told so many times I was going to be tendered," Jackson said. "I was contnuously told 'You will be tendered, you will be here.' And then it came down to the situation, it wasn't done."

One of the motives for permitting the former first rounder to hit the market was because Jackson torn his left ACL in late October. In the previous season, 2008, Jackson's season end in a similar fashion as he torn his right ACL. Although Jackson believes he will be back at full strength by training camp and raring to go.

"I would be capable of doing what is needed to as a football player by mid-May, June," he said. "By training camp, wherever I am, I'll be ready to go full go."

Jackson also gave the media an idea of where he is currently at in his rehab when stating he was ahead of schedule.

"I'm at four months in my ACL rehab," Jackson said. "I'm sprinting, running, back-pedaling, breaking, things like that so I'm ahead of schedule. I've been blessed so far with my rehab, it's gone very, very smooth. Like I said before, I'm ahead of schedule."

One of the explanations for Jackson's interest in the Eagles is the fact Andy Reid and the franchise have the pieces in place and are close to winning a Super Bowl. This is something that he has become accustomed to with the Colts over his five-year career.

"The one thing about coming from Indianapolis is that I'm used to winning and that's number one for me, to win and to be part of an organization that has something built and something set up," Jackson said. "That's what they have here. They've won each and every year. Andy Reid has done a great job. You look at the roster, they have a top quarterback in the league, they have a great offensive line, they have weapons on offense, they generate great pass rush, they have defensive backs already here. They have all the pieces that are already needed to win a championship."

As for the Reid and the Eagles, the quality that Jackson's brings to the table is his ability and talent to play the cornerback, safety and nickel positions at an premiere level, which makes him an intriguing prospect. Since Brian Dawkins left via free agency last year, the Eagles free safety position has been a subpar with the disappointing Quinton Demps and rookie Macho Harris.

"It's been a great visit. I think there's some mutual interest here," Jackson said. "They feel that I'm capable of playing corner, safety, nickel and kind of what to see where things shake out to find out where the biggest need is at and if I come here, where I would play."

One player currently on the Eagles roster who has been urging the former Michigan product to sign with the Eagles is former Michigan teammate Jason Avant.

"I've talked to Jason Avant and he's said nothing but positive things about the organization," Jackson said. "Anyone who knows Jason Avant knows that he's a great person and you know his opinion is really held in high regard with me."

Jackson will be leaving Philadelphia this afternoon to meet with the New York Jets and plans to schedule more visits with teams in the near future. However, his visit to Philly sounded like it went better than his prior visit to Baltimore.

"I had a positive visit with Baltimore, things sounded good and it's been an even more positive visit here and I have another visit lined up and I'll take that as well and see how things go," Jackson said. "I'd like to get something done here pretty soon."

For the Eagles fans, they hope Jackson gets something done soon with the Eagles because the team is starting to running out of options. Jackson would bring excellent value to a team in desperate need of secondary help.

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