Eagles free agency: Grading Greedy Williams, Marcus Mariota additions

Marcus Mariota #1 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Marcus Mariota #1 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Maybe we’re workaholics. Maybe we just love this Philadelphia Eagles team that much, but every time there’s an announcement, we feel like it’s Christmas. Philly re-signs James Bradberry, Darius Slay, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox… Boom! It’s Christmas (though we realize that some of you are disappointed by the Cox signing)… An announcement comes stating Philly intends to sign Marcus Mariota and Greedy Williams… Boom! It’s Christmas again!

It isn’t like we ripped the wrapping paper away and found a couple of PlayStation 5 consoles, but we definitely got some socks and underwear, and we can always use more of that!

Adam Schefter, in the early hours of Friday morning, announced the addition of Marcus Marota. It was shortly after 1 a.m. EST to be exact. Before that, at about 8:47 p.m. EST on Thursday to be exact, perhaps THE most trusted voice connected to the Cleveland Browns, Mary Kay Cabot, announced Philly’s addition of Greedy Williams.

If you live on the West Coast, it was still relatively early. If you live on the East Coast, those announcements came while you were probably sleeping (Mariota) or enjoying your family time and preparing for your next day (Williams).

We understand that, so we let you rest. Consider this the equivalent of waking up to a few presents under the tree. It’s Christmas time! Let’s talk about the new guys.

Here are a couple of random thoughts about the Eagles’ signings Greedy Williams and Marcus Mariota, as well as some grades.

Let’s begin with Philly’s new backup quarterback. For some of you, this is a long overdue announcement.

Marcus Mariota

Most of you die-hards will remember this, but in 2015, Marcus Mariota was on the Eagles’ radar. Chip Kelly, formerly Mariota’s head coach when both were with the Oregon Ducks, attempted to trade up during the 2015 NFL Draft to take him.

Collegiate awards aren’t always sufficient evidence that players will excel as professionals, but let’s just take a moment to appreciate what Mariota did in 2014. He won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was named the AP College Football Player of the Year, the Sporting News Player of the Year, and the Polynesian Football Player of the Year.

In addition to all of that, he took home Manning Award, the Walter Camp Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. As a professional, he’s collected a 62.6% completion percentage, a 92–54 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 15,656 yards passing, a padder rating of 89.3, 2,012 rushing yards, and 17 rushing touchdowns.

Mariota is a more than capable backup for Jalen Hurts that has crafted a 34-40 win-loss total, and he’s won during the postseason. This is an upgrade from Gardner Minshew that can win games if called upon.

Grade: A

Greedy Williams

Greedy Williams was a second-round selection by the Cleveland Browns in 2019. After starting every game for the Browns that he played in as a rookie, he suffered a nerve injury in Year 2. In 2021, he only started half the games and finished with 41 total tackles, ten pass breakups, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.

Last season ended for him because of a hamstring injury that landed him on the injured reserve, but he was mostly a special teams player. He’ll provide quality depth for the Eagles and possibly compete with Zach McPhearson as he walks into the NovCare Complex as arguably the best Eagles player not named Darius Slay, James Bradberry, or Avonte Maddox.

Grade: B+