Where Maclin’s Departure Leaves the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was a little more than a year ago when Jeremy Maclin addressed reporters at the NovaCare Complex after having signed a one-year deal with the Eagles.

Maclin was coming off ACL surgery, but opted not to test the market. He decided to play out 2015 in hopes of landing a long-term deal down the road with the team that drafted him.

After an 85-catch, 1,318-yard, 10-TD season, Maclin put himself in a great position. He maintained all along that his No. 1 goal was to remain with the Eagles. And the team said often that it wanted Maclin back.

But when organizations let their own players reach the negotiating period of free agency, they run the risk of losing them. And that’s what apparently happened Sunday night with Chris Mortensen’s report that Maclin is headed to Kansas City to reunite with Andy Reid.

So where does the move leave the Eagles?

On the roster are Riley CooperJordan Matthews and Josh Huff. Matthews played the slot almost exclusively last year but could get a shot on the outside. And Huff figures to be competing for a more prominent role.

The free-agent class has grown thin in a hurry. Randall Cobb is staying with the Packers. And Torrey Smith is reportedly headed to San FranciscoThat leaves guys like Michael CrabtreePercy Harvin and Cecil Shorts on the market.

The wide receiver draft class is said to once again be loaded, and the Eagles could certainly think about snagging a pass-catcher early on. Trading for a wide receiver remains a possibility, depending on how rosters shape up next week.

By all accounts, the Eagles tried to bring Maclin back but weren’t willing to match his price. There does, however, seem to be a shift of resources to the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso and reportedly will be using $25 million guaranteed for Byron Maxwell. They had no problem overpaying in that instance.

Perhaps the overall thought is: Spend big on defensive players, and let Kelly figure it out on offense. With the money the team had allocated to Maclin now freed up, the Eagles will need to determine quickly where to go next.

Kelly has acknowledged often that scheme is useless without talented personnel. We’ll find out soon enough what his plan is for replacing the Eagles’ leading receiver for the second consecutive season.