Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Jeremy Maclin embraces uncertain future
By Dan Graziano
PHILADELPHIA -- Interesting day out here at Philadelphia Eagles minicamp. The team practiced for about two hours, with pretty much everybody participating, including offensive linemen Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, who are all recovering from various injuries. Every quarterback ran the option, including Nick Foles. No apparent rhyme or reason to the varying position groups, and no rush to name a starting quarterback in June or anything crazy like that. Just a bunch of players putting into practice all of the new stuff they've learned from new head coach Chip Kelly as they work to get ready for a season that's still more than three months away.
One of the people I spoke with after practice ended was wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, whose 2013 situation is an interesting one. The team's 2009 first-round draft pick has only this one year left on his contract and admits to not knowing what the future holds. But he's trying very hard not to get caught up in that.
"I'm not thinking about that," Maclin said. "No good can come of thinking about that. I've seen a lot of people go down the wrong road thinking about that."
Maclin says he's enjoying the frenetic nature of this offseason, in which he, DeSean Jackson and all of the Eagles' receivers have had to play every possible wide receiver spot so as to learn not only their own but everyone's responsibility on every possible play. He says the new offense "gives its playmakers the ability to make plays, and I think that's going to suit us very well." He says he believes the variety will offer him a chance to showcase his full skill set, and he agrees with the idea that the timing on that is good, since he's playing his contract season for a different coaching staff than the one that drafted him.
"Everybody should feel like they have something to prove," Maclin said. "The only guys who don't are the guys they drafted or signed this year. Everybody else, we all have something to prove."
Jackson got a contract extension last offseason, as did running back LeSean McCoy, offensive lineman Todd Herremans and defensive lineman/linebacker Trent Cole, among others. The Eagles didn't spend to the salary cap this year and will have the money and the cap room to lock up Maclin next offseason if they so choose. But they likely want to see him get through the season fully healthy and productive before making that decision, and that's fine with him.
"If it's going to come down to the way I play this year, I feel good about that," Maclin said.