Philadelphia Eagles: What is Jeremy Maclin’s place in Eagles history?

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Now officially retired from the from at NFL at the age of 30, what is Jeremy Maclin’s place in Philadelphia Eagles history?

When the 2014 NFL season concluded, it looked like Jeremy Maclin had finally put it all together and ascended into the ranks of the NFL’s elite wide receivers.

Standing a solid 6-foot, 200 pounds, Maclin looked like a complete offensive weapon: fast enough (4.45 40) to be an effective deep threat, polished enough to run any route in his tree, and efficient enough to be an effective red zone target (36 TDs) .

After finally crossing the century mark for the first time in his six-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles, then-GM Chip Kelly got into a serious bidding war with Maclin’s former head coach Andy Reid for the Missouri product’s services, and ultimately lost his offense’s best weapon for $1 million a year.

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From there Maclin had one more good season with the Chiefs, catching 87 balls for 1088 yards before his career ultimately bottomed out over the next two seasons, but we aren’t here to talk about that.

No, for how up-and-down he was in KC, or his whimpering final dance with the Baltimore Ravens, Jeremy Maclin, who officially retired from the league on March 24th, will forever be remembered as a Philadelphia Eagle.

But where is Maclin’s place in the Eagles hallowed history?

Will he be remembered for catching 343 balls for 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns as a top option for Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Nick Foles? Or will fans instead focus on the team’s inability to get out of the Wild Card round of the playoffs over his tenure, if they even made the playoffs at all.

Though he played about a well as anyone could have hoped for a mid-first round pick, whether designated the team’s first, second, or third offensive option, will Maclin ultimately be remembered as a bust for failing to stick around for a second long-term contract?

And what about his decision to leave Kelly’s Birds for the man who drafted him in the AFC? Will fans wonder why he left a system that perfectly accentuated his strengths? Or worse, taunt Maclin’s ultimate fall from grace, and rub their noses that such a falling out wouldn’t have happened had he remained in the City of Brotherly Love?

To me, it will probably fall somewhere in between.

Currently, Maclin ranks 10th in the franchise history in receiving yards, 10th in receptions, and seventh in receiving touchdowns.  Those numbers are impressive but far from unflappable, as Zach Ertz has already passed the retired receiver in all three categories with the potential to continue to rise up the ranks with each passing season.

Furthermore, while Maclin would have been useful in 2015, the team has more or less replaced his production straight up with Jordan Matthews, Alshon Jeffery, and even Nelson Agholor, the player Kelly drafted to replace him.

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Ultimately, Jeremy Maclin was a good-if-not-great wide receiver for the better part of seven years, but one of the biggest what-if players to suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles this decade. Could he have continued to play at a high level if he opted to remain with the team in 2015 and beyond? Probably, but with (almost) a decade in the NFL under his belt and over $52 million in career earnings, it’s safe to say the Maclin Family is set up for success, with another member on the way.