All Is Not Lost With Jeremy Maclin's Season-Ending Injury
By Scott Daniels
The spotlight just got a little brighter for Desean Jackson.
Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles were dealt a terrible blow … and the season hasn’t even begun. Jeremy Maclin is out for the season. It’s a harsh blow for a team trying to find their identity in the wake of a regime change, but all is not lost here. And while many would disagree with me, Maclin’s injury might be a blessing in disguise.
For the record, I think Maclin is a tremendous talent. The guy was a stud at Missouri, but he never quite seemed to reach his maximum potential in the NFL. Injuries have slowed him a bit, but he’s barely missed a game over the last four years. Character and work ethic are non-issues with Maclin, and barring extraordinary circumstances, he’s almost certain to have a long and fruitful career in the NFL.
That being said, even without Maclin’s season-ending torn ACL, his career path was likely headed out of Philly. This season marked the final year of Maclin’s five-year rookie deal. Attempts to negotiate a new deal between Maclin and the Eagles went nowhere in the offseason, leaving Maclin unsatisfied but determined to prove his worth. If Maclin had a great year, he was probably going to command a sizable contract, and it’s highly doubtful that the Eagles would have obliged.
Had it not been for this injury, a solid year from Maclin gave him leverage at the bargaining table; that is now gone. The Eagles not only hold the leverage, but signing Maclin to any deal is a high risk.
Maclin’s departure is inevitable. His loss hurts, but it’s not the end of the world. The stable of young receivers will have their shot, and hopefully, one of them steps into the role of playing alongside Jackson.
Optimistically speaking, the Eagles were smart in not signing Maclin earlier. His injury actually highlights the prudence of the Eagles organization. If Chip Kelly is as good as he appears to be, Maclin’s injury is just a bump in the road. Optimism is not just a mindset heading into the 2013 season; for the Eagles and their fan base, it’s a requirement.