Jeremy Maclin seemed resigned to seeing DeSean Jackson, his long-time colleague in the Eagles’ wide receiver room, being traded this offseason.
“Whatever happens in the organization happens in the organization,” Maclin said. “This was a similar situation when the Eagles decided to part ways with T.O. That's just how the game goes sometimes. So I guess we'll see.”
The Eagles cut ties with Terrell Owens midway through the 2005 season after suspending him for conduct detrimental to the team.
Owens, who helped the Eagles to the Super Bowl in his only full year in Philly, and Jackson, a second-round draft pick in 2008, are the Eagles’ only Pro Bowl wide receivers over the past 15 years.
Maclin spoke at a charity event hosted by teammate Todd Herremans at a Center City restaurant.
All signs point to the Eagles trading Jackson this offseason, even though he’s coming off his third Pro Bowl season and the best year of his career, with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
Maclin, who missed last year with a knee injury, recently signed a one-year contract to return to the Eagles before hitting the open market.
Jackson has 6,117 receiving yards in six seasons with the Eagles; Maclin has 3,453 yards in four seasons. They rank third and 12th in franchise history in receiving yards among wideouts.
Head coach Chip Kelly was intentionally vague when asked about Jackson at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, and Maclin took a similar tone on Tuesday.
“Anything is possible in this league,” Maclin said. “I think the organization is going to do what’s best for the organization. Everybody knows DeSean is a phenomenal talent, but at the end of the day, that's not a decision that players get to make or the city gets to make.
“That's a decision that the staff gets to make, and I think whatever they decide to do, and with any decision, that’s what you have to believe in, that's what you got to have faith in.”
Perhaps Maclin was simply being politically correct, not wishing to criticize management, but when asked directly if he wants Jackson back, he was non-committal.
“I want to win games, and obviously DeSean's a very talented player,” Maclin said. “So, I think, I want to win games.
“Like I said, to have him on the field, being able to make plays is a plus for the offense. But at the same time, anybody that's out there making plays is capable of doing something.”
Maclin was asked whether Jackson did anything last year to upset Kelly, who took the Eagles to 10 wins, a division title and the playoffs in his first year in the NFL.
“I can't speak on his behalf,” Maclin said. “Whatever that situation is, is what it is. They don't -- [owner Jeff] Lurie, [general manager] Howie [Roseman], Chip -- they're not calling down us, asking us, ‘Do we need to do this, should we do this.’ That’s not what it’s about.
“They’re going to do what’s best for the organization, and so far, so good. They put together a solid team and obviously last year proven so, bouncing back from that 4-12 season (under Andy Reid in 2012). I can definitely see this organization getting back into the playoffs and deep into the playoffs.”
Maclin said Jackson has matured personally over the five years they’ve been teammates but also said he has faith in Kelly and Roseman to do what’s best for the team.
Even if that means trading a 27-year-old with 21 career touchdowns of 40 yards or more.
“DeSean's a great talent,” Maclin said. “That's undeniable. As far as everything else, man, he's come a long way. He's matured in the NFL. I think that's part of the process.
“But it's not for me to speak on another man's behalf. Whatever happens, that's what we have to roll with. ...
“You just have to have faith in the organization and whatever direction they decide to go in.”