On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks hosted the Philadelphia Eagles, holders of the best record in the NFL coming into the game at 10-1. However, the Seahawks were not the most gracious of hosts, sending their visitors packing after a 24-10 game that saw the Eagles held to their lowest point total of the season. The Seattle defense was shorthanded without Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, but the Hawks quietly retooled and put together an extremely deep roster, including the recent addition of Byron Maxwell.
In the days leading up to the game, much was made of the showdown as “the Byron Maxwell revenge game.” (Or perhaps more accurately, the other way around). Maxwell signed a massive 6-year, $63M contract with the Eagles as a free agent in 2015, but was not a fit for their system and after just a single season they traded him to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins did their best to make use of Maxwell’s skills, but they released him earlier this year, and last month he re-signed with the Seahawks, setting up the alleged revenge game.
However, while Maxwell was shipped out of Philly by the team’s front office, he was at least packaged with Kiko Alonso and traded away in exchange for the right to move up in the draft. That can’t be said for Marcus Smith II.
Smith was drafted by the Eagles with the 26th pick in the 2014 NFL draft after having been the AAC Defensive Player of the Year at Louisville in 2013. Hoping they were getting an impact edge rusher, the Eagles never got the production they were hoping for out of Smith, and by the spring of 2017 the team had declined to pick up his fifth year option. Just months after that, on the day prior to their first practice of training camp, the Eagles waived Smith.
Despite having been a first round pick, Smith went unclaimed on waivers and became a free agent. Always on the lookout for a talented reclamation project, Pete Carroll and John Schneider signed Smith just two days after he had been waived. While he has not been an impact player, he has made solid contributions as a role player collecting 2.5 sacks and 7 tackles so far this season while averaging just under two dozen defensive and special teams snaps a game.
And Sunday gave Smith the chance to play in his own revenge game.
He did not put up a gaudy statline, and in fact he won’t even be noted in box scores that skip quarterback hits. He did not register a single sack or tackle in the game, but he did get credited with a hit on Carson Wentz. It was one of twelve quarterback hits the Seattle defense delivered on the night while making Wentz the most pressured quarterback in the NFL in Week 13.
And it may have been after the game that Smith delivered his biggest hit of the night when he took a moment to send out the following tweet.
Talk that shit!— Marcus Smith II (@MarcusSmithII) December 4, 2017
It does not take a lot of imagination to believe that this win felt very good for Smith, and that he will be taking a moment to bask in the glory of the team that fired him barely four months ago.
Congratulations, Marcus, on the victory over your former team, and Seahawks fans hope that you have several more victories to celebrate this season.