Maclin: Eagles will 'be fine' without DeSean


Maclin: Eagles will 'be fine' without DeSean

Chip Kelly still hasn’t spoken publicly since he kicked three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson to the curb abruptly last month, a silence that’s opened the door for all sorts of speculation about the reason he parted ways with one of the NFL’s most dynamic weapons.

One popular theory is that Kelly needed to make an example for others who might be unwilling to buy into the coach’s unique program.

Jeremy Maclin practically scoffed at that suggestion.

“I don’t think it was for that,” the veteran receiver said Wednesday. “I don’t think you release a guy to send a message. We’re not in high school anymore. I don't think you do it like that.”

Maclin didn’t have answers for why Jackson, at 27, had to have his bags packed coming off the best season of his career. And although he dismissed the idea that Kelly was looking to make a statement, Maclin admitted that there’s a lesson to be learned.

“It’s all about doing the right thing at the end of the day,” Maclin said. “That’s what you do. You come up, you show up to work, do the right things, be positive, things are going to work out in your favor. It all comes down to doing the right things.”

Maclin hardly seemed upset that his former teammate, who went over the 1,300-yard receiving mark last year and caught 82 passes, won’t be adding to the offense this year, or that Jackson landed on his feet with the Eagles’ divisional rivals, the Redskins.

Asked how the Eagles would replace Jackson’s top-end speed and vertical threat, Maclin said, “We’ll be fine, man.”

“Because I have faith in the offense and I got faith in the guys we have in the locker room,” he later added. “Chip said it himself. The offense isn’t built around one guy. We have multiple guys that can go out there and make plays. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this year.”

Maclin fielded several Jackson-related questions during his 13-minute session with reporters and bypassed several opportunities to say that his former teammate would be missed or express anything remotely supportive of Jackson.

Maclin declined to go into detail about his relationship with Jackson but said he hasn’t spoken with the Redskins receiver since the Eagles cut ties.

“Our relationship is our relationship,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be shared with anybody else.”

Sure sounded like they won’t be exchanging Christmas cards over the holidays.

Asked if he’d get tired of persistent Jackson questions, Maclin said, “If you guys want to ask about him, he’s in Washington now, so I suggest you all go to Washington and ask about him.”

Maclin missed all of last year after tearing his ACL during the first week of training camp. He said his knee is fully recovered and he’s excited about his role in the offense, which should be prominent given the departures of Jackson and veteran slot receiver Jason Avant.

Interestingly, Maclin admitted that NFL teams need two dynamic receivers to contend. Maclin and Jackson could have represented one of the league’s best receiver tandems, but Maclin suggested that the Eagles already have a dominant one-two punch, even without Jackson.

“I think we have two,” he said. “I think we have more than two, but I think we have two definitely.”

Howie Roseman on Jason Kelce, Mychal Kendricks: 'They're going to be here going forward'

Howie Roseman on Jason Kelce, Mychal Kendricks: 'They're going to be here going forward'

The 2017 NFL draft has come and gone.

And Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks are both still Eagles.

The two players, who have been with the team since 2011 and 2012, respectively, have reportedly been on the trade block throughout this offseason. It seemed possible one or both could be moved during the draft, but it didn't happen.

"Yes, they are here and we fully anticipate they're going to be here going forward," Eagles VP of football operations Howie Roseman said Saturday after the draft wrapped up.

Kelce is coming off a Pro Bowl year, but at times last season didn't perform well and the Eagles have Isaac Seumalo waiting to take over. Kendricks was technically a starter last season but played minimally, coming off the field in non-base packages, something he likely wasn't thrilled about.

With the Eagles still in a tight salary cap situation, trading Kelce would save $3.8 million in cap space. Cutting Kendricks would save $1.8 million.

Did teams inquire about the two veterans over the last three days?

"We don't ever talk about trade discussions with any teams, but both those guys have been here in the offseason and they're going to be here going forward," Roseman said.

Eagles 2017 undrafted free-agent tracker

Eagles 2017 undrafted free-agent tracker

The 2017 NFL draft is over and the Eagles added eight players.

Now, they're adding more via undrafted free agents.

"There's a lot of leg work that's done prior," Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said Saturday. "It's an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Scouts are working with coaches. We have our list of guys, we're recruiting these guys. We're calling agents, recruiting agents as well.

"Much like the draft, once the draft is over, we have our list of guys. We go by the ranking. We load the roster up. I think it went as smoothly as possible."

The Eagles addressed defensive needs and added a few offensive weapons for quarterback Carson Wentz. They drafted a defensive end — Derek Barnett — in the first round Thursday.

On Friday, they added two cornerbacks and on Saturday, they drafted two wide receivers, a running back, a safety-turned-linebacker and a defensive tackle.

Here is a tracker of the undrafted free agents the Eagles signed after the draft.

Greg Ward Jr., WR, 5-11/185, Houston
Ward signed with the Eagles after the draft, according to FOX 26's Mark Berman. He was a quarterback in college but switched to wide receiver during the draft process. At Houston's pro day, Ward ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash. He threw for 8,705 yards and 53 touchdowns in four years at Houston but was also a dual threat. He ran for 1,108 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015, and last season, he added 518 yards and 10 scores on the ground. In 2013 and 2014, he combined for 25 catches for 234 yards and two receiving TDs.

Cam Johnston, P, 5-11/190, Ohio State
Johnston tweeted after the draft he signed with the Eagles. Johnston was the Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year in 2016, an All-Big Ten first-team player and a Ray Guy award finalist. Johnston set Ohio State single-season and all-time records for punts inside the 20 — 31 punts inside the 20 in 2015 and 109 career punts inside the 20. He also set a school record with a 57.0-yard average in 2014 against Illinois.

Tyler Orlosky, C, 6-3/298, West Virginia
Orlosky is the third Mountaineer to join the Eagles this draft. The center signed with the team after the draft, according to the Daily Athenaeum's Chris Jackson. The Eagles drafted cornerback Rasul Douglas on Friday and wide receiver Shelton Gibson on Saturday. Counting running back Wendell Smallwood last season, that's now four West Virginia players added in some capacity in the last two drafts.

Corey Clement, RB, 5-11/209, Wisconsin
Clement joins the Eagles as an UDFA, according to FOX 29's Howard Eskin. Clements ran for 1,375 yards with a 4.4 yards per carry average, 15 touchdowns on 314 attempts.