The Philadelphia Eagles are in the midst of a changing of the guards when it comes to the wide receiver position. After releasing team-leader DeSean Jackson prior to the NFL Draft, chip Kelly is hoping to replace his production with several players instead of just one. The Eagles did not sign a marquee receiver to take his spot, but re-signed two players while drafting two more. However, if a rookie emerges this season, could it be the end of the road for another long-time Eagle?
One of the smartest things the Eagles did in the offseason was re-sign both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to new contracts. Cooper signed a multi-year deal, while Maclin only got a one-year deal. Philadelphia then went out and drafted potential star Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft, giving the Eagles an array of offensive weapons to work with.
According to Ben Volin of the Boston Herald, it appears the one-year deal for Maclin is going to be just that. If Matthews and Huff develop into quality NFL talent, Maclin will not be returning when his deal is up. The wide receiver has been a consistent threat for Philadelphia since being drafted, but his stock took a hit after he tore his ACL and missed all of the 2013 season which happened to be a contract year. The Eagles were able to get Maclin to a one-year contract that was meant for the receiver to use as a tool to show his worth and test his comeback from injury. However, Volin notes that it is simply a charity case from the Eagles and they will move on from him.
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding Maclin. The wide receiver insists that he is healthy and prepared to return to the field as a fully functional receiver for quarterback Nick Foles, but it is clear that the Eagles are not totally sold on his comeback either. It is certainly possible that Maclin returns as the same receiver that posted 3,453 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons. However, if that is the case then he will likely test the market in search of a big deal.
Right now, all signs point towards Cooper being the future of the Eagles with Matthews and Huff by his side while Zach Ertz carries on the tight end spot. Kelly is great at creating new offenses and now that he has "his guys" in place, Maclin could end up on the outside looking in.