News broke earlier this afternoon that former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin had signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Many assumed that the two teams in-play were his new hosts in Baltimore, and the Buffalo Bills where he would reunite with LeSean McCoy.
Free agent WR Jeremy Maclin is expected to sign with the #Ravens to a 2-year deal, source, said. A late, big-ticket addition.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 12, 2017
However, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, there was a third team in-play, the Philadelphia Eagles.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 12, 2017
This in itself comes as a bit of a shock. It was only a few days ago that Doug Pederson affirmed fans that the team were happy with the abundance of talent currently competing for roster spots.
When asked if there was any interest in signing Maclin, Pederson responded acutely:
“At this time, no.”
The second-year head coach was then asked to explain the thought process behind the mindset.
“Love the guys that we have. Pederson told the media. “We’re always constantly looking and obviously trying to better our roster at every position, but at this time, I’m very pleased with what we’re working with and what we have. We have some young talent that’s playing extremely well.”
“So going forward next week and on into camp, what I’m trying to see is where our young guys are and how well they can handle the workload with what we’re trying to do offensively and in our passing game.”
It would appear that if Anderson’s report is correct, the Eagles may have been putting up a smoke-screen. The connection to reuniting not only with a former offensive coordinator, but the city that drafted him back in 2009 simply made too much sense to overlook. It may have simply come down to money. The Eagles aren’t exactly blessed with cap space and would likely be unable to match whatever Baltimore were offering in the year’s after the upcoming season…and adding another “prove-it” deal would only line up yet more questions at an already congested WR position.
However, the Eagles made their statement of intent all too clear in the early stages of the offseason, something echoed by Howie Roseman at the time.
“We have to be disciplined. We have to stick to our plan. We have to stick to our process. That has to show up in the draft. I’m sure that everyone can sit here and write about positions of need, we understand that. We’re going to do what’s right when you have young players.”
During his 15 game campaign in 2015, the former Eagles wideout amassed a career-high 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight scores. Just one year later, his career-low 44 receptions for 536 yards and two touchdowns were accompanied by seven drops.
It’s also interesting that both Jeremy Maclin and Torrey Smith received huge deals in the 2015 offseason. The former Eagles wideout has landed in Baltimore, and the fallen Raven has now made his way to Philadelphia…it’s funny how things turn out, right?
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports