Eagles Rumors: Jeremy Maclin Could Get Franchise Tag


The Eagles face a 4 P.M. ET deadline Monday to decide whether they will use their franchise tag. Though Jeremy Maclin sounded optimistic Saturday when discussing the progress made towards signing a long-term deal, CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher says that he expects the team to use the tender if the two sides don’t agree to a deal before the deadline.

The last time that the Eagles use the franchise tag, which I had to be reminded of, was after Michael Vick’s MVP caliber 2010 season. The team used the tag to assure that Vick wouldn’t hit the open-market, where plenty of teams would have been interested in his services. Instead of hitting the open-market and having his price driven up even more, Vick remained under team control and ultimately agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal. That meant that the tag price was never actually paid to Vick, but rather used as a way to buy more time to agree to what ended up being a massive contract.

In many senses, that’s what would happen to Jeremy Maclin, if franchised. The Eagles would use the tag, hoping that the mutual interest in a long-term deal from both sides would lead to an extension that would cancel the tag.

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If no extension would be reached, Maclin would get a one-year deal worth the average value of the top-five highest paid receivers in the NFL. Given that Dez Bryant, among others, is a potential free-agent and also expected to get tagged, it remains to be seen if any deals this off-season would jack the tag price up. Currently the tag would peg Maclin at just over $12.5 million for 2015, but that number could change given that four of the top five highest paid receivers (Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson) could all be released from their contracts this off-season.

In the end, having Maclin make the amount the franchise tag would give him would be less than ideal. It’s probably more ideal than letting him walk in free-agency, but it would make keeping LeSean McCoy at his current price and improving the secondary significantly through free-agency nearly impossible.

A hypothetical Maclin extension would likely have him have a lower cap number this year to compensate for LeSean McCoy’s high cap number this year, in hopes of keeping both in midnight green.

In the end, not placing the franchise tag on Maclin would pose a great risk for the Eagles, while likely only allowing Maclin to become richer by having teams possibly bid on him in free-agency. So as long as the two sides agree to a deal afterwards, Mosher’s suggestion of using the tag makes the most sense.

Update 8:00 PM ET–Mosher, while admitting he has had time to overthink things, just tweeted this.  

Though this doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t tag Maclin, it kind of makes his earlier tweets seem more like speculation than anything. His logic was sound, but given that he has since backed off of it, and no other team reporters have given any significant traction to the idea of using the tag, the move seems less than likely.

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