Maclin's best opportunity to succeed is in Philly
“I'm hoping we can get Jeremy Maclin back ASAP,” Riley Cooper (left) said Thursday. (USA Today Images)
Not long after he signed an extension to stay with the Eagles, wide receiver Riley Cooper lobbied for the team to bring back his friend.
“I'm hoping we can get Jeremy Maclin back ASAP,” Cooper said Thursday. “I don't know what's going on with that whole deal, but I'm hoping they can come to terms because he's only going to make this team better.”
General manager Howie Roseman was asked about Maclin’s situation but ducked and dodged questions, saying only that he’d like to keep a drafted player who the team picked in the first round almost five years ago.
But Roseman refused to get into specifics, offering very few indications of whether Cooper’s signing precludes the Eagles from also committing to Maclin.
On Wednesday, a league source told CSNPhilly.com that talks between Maclin and the Eagles were progressing but emphasized that a deal isn’t close to being completed.
On Thursday, Pro Football Talk reported that Maclin seeks a one-year deal with hopes of proving his worth and maximizing his value for next season but the team is trying to lock up Maclin to a long-term deal.
The longer talks continue without Maclin’s signature, the more feasible it seems that Maclin will test the free-agent waters.
His contract expires March 8, when the new league year begins, and it stands to reason Maclin would draw interest from the Jets (Marty Mornhinweg) and Chiefs (Andy Reid), two teams with coaches who groomed Maclin in Philadelphia.
From the start of the offseason, Roseman has said his receiver dilemma would be “complicated.”
“Jeremy is a good player. Jeremy is someone we drafted, we have a lot of respect for,” Roseman said Thursday. “Obviously in this system, [Maclin is] someone we had high hopes for going into this [past] year. He’s got a lot of good traits and certainly fits in with the chemistry and with what we’re trying to do.”
As for co-existence between Maclin and Cooper, who emerged as the No. 2 receiver after Maclin tore his ACL in camp, Cooper said he would happily play third fiddle to DeSean Jackson and Maclin.
In Kelly’s offense, receivers are coached to play both outside and inside to give the offense flexibility and versatility.
“The only thing I can possibly think of is I'll either be the number three, because they're both great players, or we'll just do maybe some more subbing,” Cooper said, “a little bit more high-tempo and getting fresh guys in and work on that.”