Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘I Don’t Want To Leave,’ Says Maclin

Jeremy Maclin doesn’t plan on letting his contract become a distraction, but he knows exactly what’s at stake in the coming months.

“I’m anxious,” Maclin said Saturday at LeSean McCoy’s charity softball game in Lancaster. “I’m ready for the season to start. This is a big year for me personally with my contract coming up and everything. So I’m just looking forward to it.”

At some point in the next eight months, the Eagles will have to make a decision on the 25-year-old wide receiver. Signing him to a long-term deal before the season doesn’t make much sense. The Eagles have a new head coach with a specific vision and will be implementing a new scheme. Chip Kelly likely won’t know exactly what he has from a personnel standpoint until the team starts competing in regular-season games.

And Maclin seems to understand that. When asked about contract discussions, he said there has been “nothing in-depth” up to this point.

“The initial talks are always whatever, but I think that I can only get better,” Maclin said. “So I think it’ll be good for me to go out there and just play ball and let everything else take care of itself.”

Maclin has been productive but unspectacular through his first four seasons. He’s averaged 58.5 yards per game, which translates to 936 yards over a 16-game season. Maclin has played in all 16 games only once, but he’s missed just five games in four seasons. And he’s gotten in the end zone 26 times.

Maclin has been solid in a lot of areas, but has not shown one distinguishable skill that sets him apart. He’s not the vertical threat DeSean Jackson is. He doesn’t come down with a lot of balls in traffic. And he’s not a great blocker.

The Eagles have had the same starting wide receivers the past four seasons. But with Jackson essentially in a contract year and Maclin potentially becoming a free agent, this group could very well take on a different look in 2014.

“This is the team and organization that drafted me. I don’t want to leave,” Maclin said. “But at the end of the day, that’s going to get brought up and come up when it’s time for it. All I can do is go out there and play ball, and I’m going to play to the best of my ability.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

McCoy raised money for ALS and is trying to put his off-the-field incidents behind him.

A roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

McCoy on the QB situation and playing for Kelly.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com takes a look at why the Eagles are going no-huddle:

Kelly thinks his system can work in the NFL because he’s seen the Patriots use some of his ideas successfully. Kelly also sees more and more teams incorporating the no-huddle as more than a situational system. The goal isn’t to hide talent deficiencies, as in college, but rather to limit what the defense can do and to throw the other team off balance. NFL coaches put in complex, meticulous gameplans. All that planning can become a moot point when the offense goes no-huddle. The defense can’t change personnel and is more likely to run base plays than anything  special for that game.

Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun checks in on Juan Castillo, who is working as the Ravens’ run-game coordinator:

“I told them when we were walking out when they were first together and I saw them walking together, I thought I was back in Philly,’ Castillo said. “It’s nice. John and I worked together for 10 years, and Steve and I also. It’s nice to be around people that you know are quality people that work hard and are good people.”

COMING UP

Refreshed from my time off last week, I’ll have plenty to discuss. We are, after all, less than a month away from rookies reporting to training camp.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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