[Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports]
The recent rumors this week that the Kansas City Chiefs were interested in pursuing Jeremy Maclin this off-season got me thinking. The Eagles should end all speculation of entertaining that idea and honor Maclin with a new deal. Maclin has been in an Eagles uniform his entire five year career. In four years of on the field action, he has recorded 257 receptions, 3,442 receiving yards and 26 touchdown receptions. When you take a look at his numbers from a year by year break down, he consistently puts up great numbers. 2010 was with out a doubt his best season as a pro as he finished with career highs in receptions (70), receiving yards (964) and touchdown receptions (10). He has clearly been a nice piece to compliment Desean Jackson on the opposite side of the field.
After a serious ACL injury that left him on injured reserve the entire 2013 season , Maclin was left wondering about his future with the team that drafted him in 2009. Not only did he have to worry about the pressures of his own self, but more importantly he had no idea what new head coach Chip Kelly was thinking at seasons end. Not to mention, wide out Riley Cooper had a phenomenal season posting career highs all across the board in Maclin’s absence. It seemed ,at least in some people’s eye Maclin was nothing more than a faded memory.
The Eagles season ended early thanks to the New Orleans Saints and now free agency and the NFL draft are the hot topics. With grumblings that Maclin will already be a high profile player, the Eagles must retain him at all cost. Especially because Maclin was quoted saying he would play on a one year deal for the Eagles. Not many receivers would make such a bold statement but that shows loyalty. Jeremy Maclin is looking to make a name for himself yet again and prove to the league he is still the player was before his injury.
If in fact the Eagles retain him for another season, we should expect to see a crucial rebound from Maclin as player. His play on the field will be another piece to an elaborate puzzle Chip Kelly has produced. If you thought Riley Cooper exploded, just wait until a faster more explosive Maclin returns. His numbers will look similar to this for next season. Receptions will be anywhere from the 65-75 area. Not a lot due to the tight ends on the field but enough to get Maclin back up to his career average. Maclin will be in the range of 700-875 yards for the season. I know it seems a little low, but you have to take into accord he will get off to a slow start as most players do coming off a knee injury. The wild card will be his touchdown receptions, as I see him grabbing no less than seven but look for double digits as Maclin will be looked to often in the red zone.
Jeremy Maclin is due for a breakout season and I feel his return to Philadelphia will almost guarantee it on the field. He has always had solid hands and great down field speed for a receiver. His skill set may not be as exciting as Desean Jackson’s but he is still a respected receiver in the league and on this team. Chip Kelly has a new toy, and it is refurbished and ready to go!