In the course of three business days, the Philadelphia Eagles added to their freshly-signed contracts after a flurry of pens inking paper. General Manager Howie Roseman has clearly been preaching the mantra of “taking care of his own” these past few years, with this offseason serving no surprises.
On Friday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed pending free agent Jeremy Maclin to a one-year, $6 million deal with $3.5 million guaranteed. Media speculation spread the rumor that Maclin was hoping to sign a one-year deal, while the Eagles were trying to lock him up cheaply for five years. Had Philadelphia gotten what they wanted, Maclin would have been locked into Philly for the relative future. Alas, Maclin and his agent reigned supreme, and set the receiver up to perform in 2014 and net a big payday afterwards. Maclin’s agent will surely earn praise in the industry for outlasting Howie Roseman in this contest.
Maclin is set to make more in 2-14 than Riley Cooper, indicating that the Eagles see Maclin as the second option, and Cooper playing the third receiver role. In Chip Kelly’s offense, however, Maclin may well line up in the slot in three-receiver sets, as could DeSean Jackson.
Monday confirmed that another 2013 breakout player will remain in midnight green. Defensive end Cedric Thornton, regarded as a possible Pro Bowl candidate, resigned a one-year deal with the Eagles. Thornton was an exclusive rights free agent, which means he must either take the Eagles offer of minimum salary at $645,000 or retire, as per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Tuesday brought the departure of one of the classiest NFL players in decades. Wide receiver Jason Avant was released Tuesday, allowing the Eagles to save more cap space for the team($30 million based on 51 highest contracts). The thirty-year old receiver was by no means unproductive this season: he netted 38 catches for 447 yards, near his averages per year. Avant, who won the Ed Block Courage award in 2010, has been a model citizen for the entire team to follow. Fellow receiver DeSean Jackson posted on Facebook Tuesday in response to the move:
J Avant, the man that always helped me keep my head on str8 and kept the chains movin, you’ll be missed bro #81 #10
Avant’s release was a move that was by no means easy, but by all means necessary.
With free agency set to begin in a week, the Eagles are positioning themselves nicely. These moves are simply a precursor for the barrage of action that will unfold Tuesday, March 11th.