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Maclin the latest Eagle to reup for another year

Jeremy Maclin signs for 1 year, $5.5 million, hopes for a longer deal once he shows Eagles he's recovered from 2013's torn ACL.

Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)
Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)Read more

JEREMY MACLIN is betting on himself, and the Eagles.

Maclin signed a 1-year deal yesterday for $5.5 million, $6 million if he hits all the incentives, a source close to the situation said, instead of the 5-year contract the team offered, which would have been at a lower annual figure.

Maclin detailed for reporters how he carefully assessed the opportunities that might be available in free agency - the coaches, the systems, the salary-cap situations - then signed for 1 year with the team that drafted him 19th overall in 2009. Why? Why not see what the market might bring? Or take the longer-term security the Eagles were offering?

"Well, here's the thing: I don't think the deal's for one year," said Maclin, who told reporters he hopes the sides can sit down again during the season, when he has given general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly a taste of what he can do in Kelly's offense.

"By them offering me a long-term deal, that made me comfortable that I'm in their long-term plans," said Maclin, who tore his right ACL on the first day of full-squad workouts at training camp last July. Before that, he'd caught 258 passes in his first four NFL seasons, the most in franchise history for a receiver in his first 4 years. "This feels like home."

Roseman, who spoke to reporters via speakerphone after Maclin's session, wouldn't commit to talking again during the season, but part of his answer to the question was to stress how much he'd like to have Maclin here longterm.

Maclin, who doesn't turn 26 until May 11, reportedly would have been a target of the receiver-needy Jets (and ex-Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg) had he hit free agency March 11. The Chiefs (and former Eagles coach Andy Reid) also were said to be a possibility, and maybe even the Patriots. But, like offensive tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce and wideout Riley Cooper, who all signed longer-term deals this week, Maclin wanted to be here, he said.

"I've seen the offense, I've seen how guys were successful, and that's something I wanted to be a part of," Maclin said.

"We're excited to have Jeremy back. That was our goal when we started here in the offseason. Really, that's been our goal all along, to have him back here," Roseman said.

It's not clear who plays where, with DeSean Jackson, Cooper and Maclin, but during their news conferences, both Cooper and Maclin expressed a willingness to play the slot, if that's how it shakes out. They didn't seem worried about whether there will be enough catches to go around, despite the additional presence of tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz, and the very real possibility that the receiver-rich 2014 draft will bring even more competition.

Of course, there is risk here for Maclin, who also tore his right ACL early in his college career, at Missouri.

"I think I made the right decision for my situation," Maclin said. "I'm confident and I'm really happy with how my rehab's been going, I'm happy with where I am, considering how long I've been out of surgery. I just know what kind of person I am, and I think the Eagles do, too - just knowing what we've gone through in this process, I think they believe in me, too."

Maclin said there is no doubt he will be full-go by training camp. Roseman said stats on receivers who suffer ACLs before they turn 26 are encouraging, and obviously, the Eagles have been able to monitor every step of Maclin's rehab.

"We felt like we were going through the process with him," Roseman said.

"I'm excited to see Jeremy play in our offense," Kelly said in a statement released by the team. "You saw the potential of that in the spring and the summer, but obviously, he didn't get an opportunity last year. However, what was great to see was how he was literally here every single day since being injured. You can see he has a passion for the game of football. When he was on the field last spring and summer, you saw his intelligence, you saw his great route-running ability, and you saw how tough of a one-on-one matchup he could be."

Roseman wouldn't talk about other players by name, but he made it clear that he came home from the NFL Scouting Combine this week with these four contracts targeted. It seems unlikely the team will approach anyone else before free agency starts. (Sorry, Nate Allen.) Remember, because Donnie Jones played last year under a 1-year, veteran-minimum contract, the punter can't sign anything better than a minimum deal before March 11.

"I think we're going to take the weekend and take a deep breath," Roseman said. "Obviously, this was our plan, in the last week here, to do, we're excited about being able to execute it, but it's just the start of the offseason . . . We'll get a chance to meet next week and just kind of take stock where we are, which is where we were hoping to be, and then go from there."