Report: Eagles prefer Maclin to Cooper, sun rises in the East

Report: Eagles prefer Maclin to Cooper, sun rises in the East

The Philadelphia Eagles believe they have the answer to the question that has haunted mankind since its inception: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper or both?

General manager Howie Roseman previously admitted re-signing both wide receivers would be “complicated.” Now, according to Jeff McLane for the Inquirer, the Eagles are ready to prioritize a deal with Maclin as it likely comes down to a decision between the two.

Both Maclin and Cooper are scheduled to become free agents a little more than two weeks away on March 11.

There’s been some debate over which one the Eagles should keep, but Maclin over Cooper is a no-brainer. Maclin is vastly more talented and posted better production in each of his last three full seasons than Cooper in 2013 despite playing in a less-productive offense. He’s a weapon no matter the type of route or where the Birds are on the field.

Maclin is coming off of a torn ACL that claimed his ’13 campaign, which does muddy the situation. However, the 19th overall pick from the ’09 draft said last week he expects to be 100 percent for training camp.

McLane reports the Birds’ plan is to sign Maclin on a one-year deal.

Cooper filled in admirably this past season, and much of the fanbase seems to have fallen in love with him, but the reality is he has limited ability. His size and ball skills make him a dangerous deep threat when matched up against a smaller cornerback down the field, yet are negated somewhat by the fact that he struggles to defeat press coverage or create separation on short and intermediate routes.

What are the odds Cooper is every going to haul in six receptions of 40 or more yards in a season again?

There’s also the signability factor with Cooper. ProFootballTalk suggests there will be an active market for Cooper in free agency. A lot of interest could spark a bidding war for his services.

There would undoubtedly be a high level of interest in Maclin if he were to hit the market as well, notably from the New York Jets. However, it’s easier for the organization to come to terms on a one- or two-year deal because it removes any form of commitment from the equation.

McLane’s report adds the Birds could sign a third receiver once free agency opens, and describes Jason Avant’s departure as “likely.”

Look for the Eagles to take a wide receiver in the draft as well, perhaps even with their first-round pick.

As for the possibility of re-signing both Maclin and Cooper, it just doesn’t seem viable from a salary standpoint. The Eagles were already second in cap space allotted to the receiver position in ’13, and that was with both players on their rookie contracts. Mac will receive a slight raise at least, while Coop could be poised to break the bank after his big season.

With free agency just a couple weeks away, it seems we’re heading for one of their departures in short order. If the Eagles have their way, they’ll be waving good bye to Cooper.

>> Eagles favor keeping Maclin over Cooper [Inq]

You'll love Dario Saric even more after watching him on PST's Quick 6

You'll love Dario Saric even more after watching him on PST's Quick 6

We love you, Dario Saric.

For you being you, and not just a significant part of the Sixers' process.

And if you don't enjoy the Croatian Sensation, you most certainly will after watching him open up during a fun game of "Quick Six" on CSN's Philly Sports Talk.

From orange juice and beer, to his gluteus and T.J. McConnell's hair, Saric discussed plenty.

The questions had him feeling all over the place. But he was terrific.

Dario Saric, Philadelphia Sixers, Philadelphia 76ers, Philly Sports Talk

For the full video, watch above.

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 — the last time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a gigantic one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.