Rose­man re­ward trio with deals

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz @21st-cen­tu­ry­ @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

The Ea­gles signed three spe­cial teams fix­tures — Chris Mara­gos, Jon Doren­bos and Don­nie Jones — to three-year con­tract ex­ten­sions in the past cou­ple of days.

PHILADEL­PHIA >> The char­ter to Seat­tle al­most ready to board, Ea­gles vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions Howie Rose­man moved the im­promptu press con­fer­ence along.

The Ea­gles signed three spe­cial teams fix­tures — Chris Mara­gos, Jon Doren­bos and Don­nie Jones — to three-year con­tract ex­ten­sions in the past cou­ple of days.

Rose­man quickly spelled out why be­fore gath­er­ing his stuff for the trip to the air­port.

“The in­di­vid­u­als, the guys we’re talk­ing about, the lead­er­ship they bring, the class that they ex­em­plify on and off the field is so im­por­tant for us,” Rose­man said. “Re­ally, just guys as we’re build­ing this and try­ing to get some con­ti­nu­ity, they’re guys that we re­ally saw here go­ing for­ward.”

Rose­man dis­missed the mid­sea­son sign­ings as a change in phi­los­o­phy. Rather, he said the Ea­gles wanted to keep as many of their good play­ers as pos­si­ble, those who are “the fiber and back­bone of this team.”

That in­cludes de­fen­sive tackle Ben­nie Lo­gan, whose deal ex­pires at the end of this sea­son.

“Yeah, Ben­nie fits in that group as a fiber guy, a guy that we drafted, great char­ac­ter, lead­er­ship and a re­ally good player,” Rose­man said. “And we’d love to keep Ben­nie in Philly.”

Mara­gos, 29, is the leader of the Ea­gles’ spe­cial teams along with Bryan Bra­man. He gets his team­mates lined up cor­rectly when he’s not mak­ing plays. His touch­down re­turn of a blocked punt in 2014 helped the Ea­gles to a 34-28 win over the Rams.

Mara­gos’ skills, lead­er­ship and dura­bil­ity could have net­ted him a good deal else­where af­ter this sea­son. He felt un­com­fort­able think­ing about that.

“The big­gest thing for me is when I eval­u­ated it, I looked back and I thought about the guys I was play­ing with,” Mara­gos said. “I thought about the re­la­tion­ships I built with these guys. If I were to ever leave I just wouldn’t feel right know­ing that I’m just kind of leav­ing them be­hind. We’ve got un­fin­ished busi­ness here that we need to do and take care of and I re­ally want to be a part of that.”

Mara­gos thinks the Ea­gles are close to hav­ing the pieces to com­pete for a Su­per Bowl in the next three years. He should know. He has a ring.

Doren­bos, 36, is a long snap­per in his 14th NFL sea­son, in­clud­ing his 11 with the Ea­gles.

Doren­bos’ magic act re­cently got him to the fi­nals on NBC’s Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent. That brought a lot of pos­i­tive at­ten­tion to the Ea­gles brand. Stick­ing around an­other three years was a no-brainer.

“You kid­ding me, man? I love it,” Doren­bos said. “You know what, I’m su­per happy. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has been fair since Day One. I’m just thank­ful. I’ve been here a long time. And for them to say, ‘Hey, look, we want to keep you around, you’ve still got it.’ I’m happy. Re­ally happy. This place is per­sonal to me. I love these peo­ple and I want to be a part of win­ning. This team is go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. … I’m stoked.”

Hours af­ter Doren­bos was signed, the Ea­gles an­nounced that 36-year-old punter John­son agreed to a three-year ex­ten­sion.

Pre­vi­ously the Ea­gles inked kicker Caleb Stur­gis to a one-year ex­ten­sion.

Lo­gan, for the record, was sur­prised to hear that Rose­man said he wanted to keep him around. You’d prob­a­bly think the same if the guy lin­ing up next to you, Fletcher Cox, re­cently signed a $103 mil­lion pact with a lot of guar­an­teed money.

“He said that?” Lo­gan said of Rose­man. “I guess so, then. Yeah, I feel like we’ll get some­thing done. But I don’t re­ally deal with that dur­ing the sea­son. I’m fo­cus­ing on play­ing.”

The gut feel­ing Mara­gos has is the Ea­gles are headed in the same di­rec­tion as the Sea­hawks team that beat Pey­ton Man­ning and the Den­ver Bron­cos to win the Su­per Bowl in the 2013 sea­son.

“When you re­ally look at what we’re build­ing here, Mr. Rose­man is do­ing a phe­nom­e­nal job at just as­sem­bling our ros­ter,” Mara­gos said. “What he’s been able to do to ac­quire a young quar­ter­back and then ac­quire picks now, too ... to be able to put us in a po­si­tion to have suc­cess. Ob­vi­ously, Mr. Lurie is top notch as an owner. He gives us, fi­nan­cially, ev­ery­thing we need. It al­lows the team, the or­ga­ni­za­tion, the front of­fice to do the moves they need to make to be com­pet­i­tive.

“And most im­por­tantly we just have a re­ally great locker room of guys. And we have great co­he­sive­ness. So I re­ally feel like given all those things we re­ally have an op­por­tu­nity to com­pete (for a Su­per Bowl), and I’m re­ally con­fi­dent we will.”

The first stop on that road is Seat­tle, this Sun­day.


Ea­gles long snap­per and some­times TV magic star Jon Doren­bos ... he’s the guy in the mid­dle with his head up ... says he’s ‘stoked’ about get­ting a con­tract ex­ten­sion from gen­eral man­ager Howie Rose­man.

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