Eagles trade J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: Who is Ugo Amadi?

·4 min read

5 things to know about new Eagles DB Ugo Amadi after JJAW trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles traded former second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on Monday after three disappointing seasons as a receiver and a brief stint this summer as a tight end.

Arcega-Whiteside will get a chance to stick in a new city and the Eagles will get a closer look at defensive back Ugo Amadi, the return in the deal.

Who is Amadi?

Here are five things to know about the newest Eagle:

1. This definitely feels like a deal swapping two players who were going to get released anyway. JJAW was fighting an uphill battle to make the Eagles’ roster as a tight end. We don’t know yet if the Seahawks view him as a receiver or a tight end going forward. But Seattle might end up being a nice landing spot for former Eagles’ second-round picks. It’s still the home of 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones.

Amadi was headed for a release too. ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported as much on Monday.

In addition, Henderson reported that Amadi had recently been with the Seahawks’ third-string defense.

2. The Seahawks drafted Amadi in the fourth round in 2019 out of Oregon. In his three-year NFL career, Amadi has played in 47 games with 12 starts, 7 of which came last season. In his career, Amadi has 125 tackles, 13 pass breakups, 1 interception and 2 forced fumbles.

He has also been a significant contributor on special teams with 580 special teams snaps over his first three years in the NFL. Add another gunner to the Eagles’ roster.

Here are his snap count totals in the NFL:

2019: 76 defensive (7%), 246 special teams (54%)

2020: 551 defensive (54%), 107 special teams (28%)

2021: 691 defensive (55%), 227 special teams (49%)

3. The Eagles like to have some versatility in the secondary and Amadi offers a little bit of that even with his size (5-9, 201 pounds). The Eagles officially list Amadi as a defensive back, but he has primarily been a nickel corner throughout his time in the NFL.

In fact, according to ProFootballFocus, he has primarily played in the slot — 81.5% of his snaps over the last three years have come as a nickel corner.

But Amadi has played some at safety in the NFL and a bunch in college. The Eagles aren’t necessarily averse to using smaller players in a safety role either. This summer, they have been playing fellow 5-9 nickel corner Josiah Scott as a safety.

4. Amadi was a four-year contributor at Oregon, playing in 48 games in his college career. He had nine interceptions in his college career and broke up 25 passes. He scored four touchdowns in his final two seasons with the Ducks; three of those touchdowns came on pick-6s.

In the pre-draft process in 2019, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projected Amadi to go in the 6-7th round range but he went a little earlier — 4-132.

“Amadi lacks a clean fit from a positional standpoint, but he's a productive player with good toughness who improved each season,” Zierlein wrote. “He lacks recovery burst and the height to handle downfield jump-balls and he lacks coverage twitch against slots, but he's strong and physical in press and is a willing run supporter which gives him a shot as a sub-package down safety with punt return talent.”

While Amadi has become a major special teams contributor, he has not returned any punts in the NFL. He returned 14 for 223 (15.9) and a touchdown in his senior year at Oregon.

5. His full name is Ugochukwu Amadi (oo-go-choo-koo uh-MOD-ee), but he goes by Ugo. Amadi grew up in Tennessee and was a four-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals. He enrolled early at Oregon (in January of 2015).

One thing that will endear him to Eagles’ fans: Back in 2020, Amadi told the Seahawks’ website that his favorite team to play is the Dallas Cowboys:

"My favorite team to play against would be the Dallas Cowboys simply because of their tradition. Growing up as a kid, I always wanted to play against them. Another reason is because I heard the saying 'how 'bout them Cowboys' a lot when I was younger. It made me want to play them even more."

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