The Philadelphia Eagles have one goal– to win. This offseason was spent moving towards that and to be honest– they have done a great job with the draft and free agent signings. However, they could be better. With the Kansas City Chiefs releasing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin earlier this week, speculation was that he MAY return to Philadelphia where it all began. But, as soon as Eagles fans had a chance to soak in the possibility, Doug Pederson shot that down.
“Love the guys that we have,” Pederson said. “Always constantly looking and trying to better our roster, but at this time, very pleased with what we’re working with and what we have. We have some young talent that’s playing extremely well. So next week and going into camp, that’s what I’m trying to see – where our young guys are and how well we could handle the workload with what we’re trying to do offensively and in our passing game.”
But Pederson also said “At this time, no”
He’s not closing the door on a return but why play the waiting game? This is the time when the Eagles need to put the foot to the pedal and try to make any improvements on a 7-9 team. This offseason was a step in the right direction as they improved on an awful passing attack with the additions of wide receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. The new weapons were much-needed, however, Maclin is now available.
Let’s be honest here. How many Eagles fans were screaming NFC East title when the news broke of Smith signing? It’s ok, no need to be ashamed. As an Eagles fan, I was one of those. I saw a veteran presence, and with DeSean Jackson heading to Tama Bay, there weren’t too many other options available. Pederson and Howie Roseman did what they thought were best, but now they have a chance to go a step further.
Eagles fans remember Maclin very well. His last season with the Birds in 2014, he caught 85 passes for 1318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Good enough for his ONLY Pro Bowl season. After that year he teamed back up with Andy Reid and now Eagles head coach, Pederson in Kansas City and was unable to duplicate the same success.
Maybe it was the Chiefs scheme or Maclin lost a step but a closer look will tell you, it was the Quarterback.
The twist is– that was Pederson’s department. Maybe there is some bad blood between the two. Either way, they need to make peace and find a way to get Maclin back in the Linc.
I have faith in Jeffery and Jordan Matthews, however, I’m not too sold on Smith. His best season was in 2014 when he caught 65 passes for 1128 yards while with the Baltimore Ravens. Since then he has not cracked the 50 reception mark. Last season while with the San Francisco 49ers he only caught 20 passes for 267 yards in 12 games. What are the Eagles expecting from him this season?
In Maclin, Carson Wentz will get a receiver who has produced consistently throughout his career. Maclin and Smith both are not towering players at 6 feet but they have deceptive speed that helps them get great separation. The only difference is, Maclin has better hands and toughness. If Pederson is serious about winning, then he may not want to play this game with Maclin and Eagles fans.
Maclin has had trips to the Ravens and Buffalo Bills with no deal in place when he left. This says that either the money is not right or the fit is not. The Bills are not stable at QB. The Ravens have Joe Flacco but not too much else. The Eagles are on the rise and will welcome Maclin back home with open arms.
In 2 seasons, Chip Kelly dismantled a team that was a few players away from contention. Now Roseman and Pederson have a chance to right a wrong by bringing Maclin back home.