‘Goode’ day for Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — It wasn't the deal people were waiting on but Howie Roseman got another one done on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran backup linebacker Najee Goode.
A pending free agent, Goode is a solid special teams player who is versatile enough to play all three linebacking positions in Jim Schwartz's 4-3 defensive scheme, a very desirous trait for a reserve player.
Originally a fifth-round draft pick of Tampa Bay back in 2012, Goode was originally claimed off of waivers by the Eagles in September of '13 and played solidly as an injury replacement for Mychal Kendricks in wins over Green Bay and Washington.
A pec injury suffered in the 2014 season opener against Jacksonville derailed that season and Goode was waived at the final cutdown by Chip Kelly in '15 before being brought back later in September.
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“Everything happens for a reason,” said Goode. “I came here and played in 2013 and excelled in special teams, played on defense, started, had some good film and then had the injury which kind of set me back, but I still progressed under the radar, so to say, with the injury and the rehab.”
Goode's highlight last season came when he recovered a Chris Maragos blocked punt against the New England Patriots and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown in a 35-28 upset victory.
He finished the '15 season with five tackles on defense in just 37 snaps. On special teams, his main gig, Goode played in 349 snaps (70 percent), fourth on the team behind Bryan Braman, Trey Burton and Maragos, and finished with 12 ST tackles, third on the club behind only Burton and Maragos.
“It feels great just to have another opportunity to come for the Eagles,” Goode said. “I’ve been here for three years going on four, and there's been a lot of new changes and it’s a fresh start for everybody, and after signing the new deal, it’s definitely a fresh start (for me).”
Goode and his father are the first father-son duo to play for the Eagles as John Goode played in 14 games for Philadelphia back in 1985 as a tight end.
"When I signed with the Eagles (the first time) my father told me that the fans are extremely passionate about their sports," Najee said. "He said I should enjoy the moment and just make plays."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen