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Why Didn't Jackson Leave Philly?

Free safety Marlin Jackson told reporters earlier this morning that he had a visit scheduled with the New York Jets later in the day.

A couple of hours later, Jackson signed a two-year deal with the Eagles.

It doesn't take a neurologist to realize that he couldn't have traveled that quickly from Philadelphia to Florham Park, New Jersey.

What happened? The Eagles wouldn't let him leave the building.

"I was walking out of the building and I was stopped and told to come back," Jackson said.

The Eagles' director of travel operations Tracey Leinen may not run a 4.4 in the 40, but was quick enough to get Jackson. Then again, Jackson had just returned from eating a cheesesteak at Jim's Steaks so that might have slowed him down.

Jackson did appreciate that head coach Andy Reid took a sincere amount of interest in him during this process.

"He called me a few times and expressed an interest. That helped out. It was good that there was a high level of interest," said Jackson.

Jackson added that Reid was the only one of the three head coaches involved - Baltimore and the Jets were the other two teams - to call him directly.

What didn't factor in Jackson's decision was the starting job at free safety. Jackson has started a total of eight games in the NFL and his entire junior year of college at safety. However, if he's going to start for the Eagles, he has to earn it.

"Nothing's every promised. I don't like the word promise; nothing's promised," Jackson said. "I have to go out there and earn everything here. (They) gave me a good deal, a quality deal and I feel I have to go out here and prove myself. If I prove myself, I feel that I will be in the starting lineup."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:10 p.m., March 10

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