The Philadelphia Eagles No. 2 and 3 receivers are set to hit the free agent market this offseason, and chances are the Eagles will be able to re-sign one- but not both- impending FA wide receivers. Keeping a solid number of weapons around franchise QB Nick Foles is important, as well as keeping WRs who can stretch the field vertically and fit Chip Kelly’s aggressive offense. Both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper have plenty of downfield speed, and Cooper definitely showed it in a breakout season by averaging over 17 yards per reception.
Even though there have been multiple reports stating that Cooper will be a hot commodity on the free agent market, it looks like the Eagles will prioritize Maclin over Cooper, even though Maclin is coming off of a torn ACL. Per NFL sources close to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, the Eagles will try to re-sign Maclin before they make an effort to keep last year’s breakout wideout.
McLane writes that the Eagles plan is to sign Maclin to a one-year, prove-it deal following the injury, and they will actually try to sign a different wide receiver instead of Cooper. So not only would they prefer to keep Maclin, but they are also reportedly looking to sign somebody else to replace Cooper, even though he can block and shares great chemistry with Foles. His bigger body also makes him a weapon in the red zone, but maybe the Eagles feel like a TE can replace that red zone efficiency.
Maclin and the Eagles have always had mutual interest, and I’m sure other teams will be interested in a wide receiver with his all-around talent. The Eagles are certainly very interested in keeping him, but the most striking thing about this report is the fact that the Eagles will only “circle back” to Cooper as an option if they can’t sign someone to replace him.
Could they be interested in Eric Decker? I mean, it seems like they would only be interested in a marquee, vertical threat if they are interested in replacing Cooper. I doubt the Eagles would go this route since Decker will be expensive, and they already have DeSean Jackson (they are also a running team with LeSean McCoy). But Decker could be a possibility, especially if Kelly really wants to build a high-octane attack.