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Say Goodbye To Jeremy Maclin, Philly

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Jeremy Maclin is likely finished with the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL season. Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images.
Jeremy Maclin is likely finished with the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL season. Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images.

Jeremy Maclin electrified the college ranks while playing for Mizzou. He was not only a prolific wide receiver, but an extremely dangerous kick returner. His versatility and big numbers earned him a fair amount of hype entering the 2009 NFL draft, second only to maybe Michael Crabtree, who went 10th to San Francisco.

The Eagles scooped Maclin with the 19th selection and signed him to a five-year deal that is now coming to an end. In hindsight, Maclin has been a serviceable wide receiver, but he never seemed to have reached his potential — injuries and inconsistency have prevented him from being a real threat to NFL defenses.

So with Maclin entering a contract year, will he finally become the superstar wide out he was in college? Funny things happen when players enter the final year of their deals. Contract years transform a mediocre talent into a seasoned veteran, especially when a massive pot of gold is waiting for them in free agency. The stars could be aligning for Maclin with Chip Kelly taking over with one year left on the rookie deal that he signed in 2009. DeSean Jackson remains the Eagles’ deep threat and No. 1 receiver, but there’s no reason why Maclin can’t thrive in the quick tempo, prototypical Kelly offense.

If Maclin does have a great year with the Eagles, he will in all likelihood test the market. Still a few years away from that dreaded 30th birthday, Maclin will probably be looking for the best deal he can get (I don’t blame him for that). Historically, the Eagles don’t pay for what players have for them in the past, so it’ll be no surprise if Maclin looks for another suitor after this year.

There’s also no telling how Maclin will actually factor into Kelly’s new offense, but if the Eagles go three, four or five wide often, Maclin will have an opportunity to shine or fade into irrelevancy.

The bottom line is the Eagles are not shorthanded without Maclin. They have plenty of wide outs that may not be as talented as Maclin, but have the ability to put up similar numbers, and that’s why the Eagles will most likely let him walk after next season. He’s a notorious underperformer who’s been plagued by injuries his whole career. This season could be one of Maclin’s finest, but will likely be his last in Philly.