Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Maragos was the perfect role player

(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /

Though he may never have his number retired or earn amazing accolades, Chris Maragos was an invaluable role player for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2014-17.

After nine years (eight seasons) in the NBA, safety Chris Maragos has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

And while he spent the entirety of the 2018 season on IR, number 42 will be sorely missed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Though he initially entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010, Maragos quietly found his footing in the NFL as a member of the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-13. But unlike many of his defensive backfield mates in the Legion of Boom, Maragos very rarely saw the field on defense.

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No, unlike Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and *gasp* Byron Maxwell, Maragos earned his pay – and roster spot –  by heading up Pete Carroll‘s special teams unit – playing 691 snaps on special teams over his last two seasons versus only 83 on defense.

While this didn’t make Maragos a star in the Emerald City, it did earn him a Super Bowl ring in 2013 – just in time for his second crack at free agency.

Was the market particularly robust for Maragos’ services? Obviously not, but he did catch the eye of then-Eagles general manager/head coach Chip Kelly, who desperately wanted to add some championship pedigree to a team approaching a critical mass.

And in the weirdest twist of fate, he actually outperformed his ex-Legion of Boom teammate Byron Maxwell (and his six-year, $63 million deal).

The straight-up ringer for Dave Fipp‘s crew, Maragos almost immediately set the tone for one of the best individual units in the league and even became a captain in his fourth season (and final) with the team as an invaluable part of the team’s culture reshuffle under then-first year head coach Doug Pederson.

And more importantly, Maragos consistently helped the players around him get better.

Serving as an almost assistant coach on the field, Maragos helped overlooked additions like Trey Burton, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nathan Gerry, and Corey Clement transform from bottom-of-the-roster bottom feeders into legitimate contributors with long-term futures in the league.

Pretty good for a player who didn’t even convert to the defensive side fo the ball until his junior year of college (post-transfer), and then virtually never played it at the professional level.

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Ultimately, Chris Maragos’ will go down as a mere footnote in Philadelphia Eagles history, but he really shouldn’t be. Through the ups and downs of a nine-year NFL career, Maragos’ consistently did what was asked of him at the highest level possible and never complained about a lack of playing time at his ‘given’ position. Though I’m sure his career didn’t go or end in the way he would have liked (sidelined with a third knee injury that kept him out of the 2018 NFL season), it’s hard not to look back at number 42’s final four years in the league and appreciate everything he did to earn a second Super Bowl ring.