Eagles Claim a Familiar Face
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Blake Countess is back in Philadelphia.
Countess, a 2016 sixth-round pick by the Eagles out of Michigan, was awarded to his original team off waivers after being released by the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams.
A 5-foot-10, 191-pound cornerback turned safety, Countess was waived by the Eagles at the final cutdown in 2016 and quickly signed with the Rams practice squad. Ultimately he was promoted to the 53-man roster by Los Angeles in November of his rookie season and had been a staple of the Rams special teams units since.
In Week 3 of last season, Countess was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown in a 35-23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Rams moved on from Countess after taking two safeties in the draft and the 25-year-old refused to take a pay cut from his $2 million tender offer. There was some talk that Los Angeles would want him back if things could be worked out down the road.
With the Eagles Countess joins a safety group which includes starters Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, as well as free-agent pickup Andrew Sendejo, Tre Sullivan, Deiondre' Hall and the recently claimed Godwin Igwebuike.
Countess' previous experience at cornerback is something Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz values in his safeties. Countess also has experience returning kickoffs and his further special teams acumen on coverage units will certainly help in securing a 53-man roster spot.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen