DeSean Jackson asserted himself as a true No. 1 receiver in this league in the absence of Jeremy Maclin this season, but the Philadelphia Eagles would be wise to re-sign the injury-prone wide receiver who was formerly the No. 1 option in the passing attack. Maclin missed the entire 2013 season with an ACL tear that he suffered in training camp, but Jackson and Riley Cooper, who could have easily been released out of training camp, stepped up big-time this season to more than make up for Maclin’s absence. Add that in with LeSean McCoy’s monster year and Nick Foles’s emergence, and the Eagles offense certainly didn’t miss a beat.
Jackson is looking for some guaranteed money after realizing that he doesn’t like his current deal after all, but he’s definitely in no threat to leave and only upped his value after having easily his best season as a pro. Cooper, on the other hand, looks like an offseason departure, since other teams are likely to come after him harder in the offseason; he’s going to be one to watch on the free agent market. It’s still possible that the Eagles are able to keep him, since he and Foles have a good rapport. That will likely come down to Cooper’s interest in the Eagles and the money he is seeking from other teams, but there is little doubt that he is a great fit with Foles, Chip Kelly, and the Philadelphia Eagles scheme.
Re-signing Jeremy Maclin would make a lot of sense for the Eagles, especially since Cooper’s return is guaranteed. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Zach Berman, Maclin prefers to stay with the Eagles organization, and his contract is also set to run out in March. Despite coming off of a major injury and being an injury-prone player at 25, Maclin is likely to come cheap, and it’s best for the Eagles to surround Foles with as talented receivers as possible. There is no doubt that Maclin is talented, and he’s also a consistent producer when healthy.
While Maclin obviously isn’t going to get the long-term security that he would want after coming off of a serious injury, he wants to return to Philly and the Eagles ought to grant his wish, especially since the financial terms should be easy to agree on. The Eagles should wait until Maclin hits free agency to gauge his market (and let Maclin know that he isn’t going to get much coming off of a major injury) before re-signing him, but it’s definitely wise for the Eagles to get a one-year deal with incentives done.