Source: Eagles are not shopping Jeremy Maclin
March 19, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Jeremy Maclin caught seven touchdown passes last season. (USA Today Images)
PHOENIX -- Forget what you’ve seen on Twitter or read in cyberspace: the Eagles aren’t actively shopping wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
They intend to hang onto the fifth-year pro, according to a team source, even though Maclin is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Maclin, a 2009 first-round pick who went 19th overall, still hasn’t surpassed 1,000 yards receiving and only once has played 16 games, but the only way the Eagles would deal him is if another team made them an irresistible offer, the source added.
Maclin’s name has surfaced in trade speculation ever since Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on his Twitter account Sunday from the NFL owners meetings that the Colts, who have been extremely busy in free agency, were working on acquiring another player.
Irsay then issued this tweet: “Colt Fans, hint – it's a Wide Receiver!”
Naturally, some of the league’s biggest names at receiver were suddenly linked to the Colts, including Victor Cruz (a restricted free agent), Larry Fitzgerald and Maclin.
The Eagles and Colts have executed some minor deals since Irsay last January hired Ryan Grigson, former Eagles director of player personnel, to be the Colts’ new general manager.
Last year, the Eagles traded right tackle Winston Justice and linebackers Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd Jr. to Indianapolis in separate deals to acquire spare cornerback Kevin Thomas and some picks. The Colts also signed former Eagles centers A.Q. Shipley and Mike McGlynn to start rebuilding their offensive line behind No. 1 pick Andrew Luck.
But there are no indications that the Eagles and Colts have talked about Maclin, although the Colts could surely use a young, dynamic wide receiver to complement the maturing Luck.
Likewise, there aren’t any indications that the Eagles have soured on Maclin or that Maclin is disappointed that he hasn’t yet received an extension. After the season finale against the Giants, a 42-7 loss at MetLife Stadium, Maclin said he wasn’t worried about his contract status and wouldn’t cause problems if he entered 2013 without a new deal.
“No. I understand,” he said. “It’s football. It’s a business. Just like I understand there are risks. I’ve seen them guys [who hold out] hurt themselves by doing that.”
Maclin also said his value could soar next offseason on the open market if he reached his full potential in 2013.
“That’s why I know, when the time is right [to talk contract], the time is right,” he added.
Maclin’s 258 career receptions are most in franchise history through a player’s first four seasons and his 3,453 receiving yards are third-most after four years, but expectations for him were higher after the Eagles traded up two spots in the first round of the 2009 draft to grab the former Missouri standout.
After his breakout 2010, when he caught 70 passes for 964 yards and led the team with 10 touchdowns, his numbers started to gradually drop. He caught 63 passes for 859 yards and five touchdowns in 2011 and last year caught 69 passes for 857 yards and seven touchdowns.
Those seem like solid numbers for a No. 2 wideout, but even Maclin agreed that his résumé isn’t complete.
“I’ve got to become a better player,” he said while cleaning out his locker one day after the season finale. “Just in general.”
What is his ceiling?
“I have all the faith in the world that I can be an elite receiver in this league,” Maclin said. “I feel like I possess the skill set to do so. This year everything certainly kind of didn’t work out, with everything we had going on with personnel. It was just hard to kind get into a jell and get into a rhythm.”
Tags: Jeremy Maclin, Eagles, COLTS, Jim Irsay, source, wide receiver, Bob Grigson
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