With the free agency portion of the NFL off-season largely over for the Eagles, there's a lot of time left before the NFL draft in late April. What's left to fill that time other than pre-draft hype? Trade rumors/speculation.
- Colts owner Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) tweeted on 3/16 that the Colts are working on a trade.
- Irsay later tweeted they're specifically targeting a WR.
- Some Eagles fans began to speculate that the WR Irsay was talking about was Jeremy Maclin.
But why? For one, Colts GM Ryan Grigson used to work in the Eagles front office. That makes for a logical connection. The two teams made some smaller trades last year (Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd for Kevin Thomas; DJ Johnson for Ollie Ogbu; and Winston Justice for swapping 6th round picks).
There's also the fact Maclin will be a free agent after the 2013 season. If, for some reason, he's not in the Eagles future plans, it would make sense to deal him now instead of letting him walk in free agency.
Last night, the speculation finally hit the mainstream. Everyone's favorite NFL reporter Jason LaCanfora released an article titled "Best spot for Irsay to land 'whopper' wideout? Probably Philly". LaCanfora goes on to discuss some possible WR trade targets (including Larry Fitzgerald, Victor Cruz, Emmanuel Sanders, Miles Austin, Steve Smith, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Davone Bess). He reasons that these targets aren't likely, though, and points out:
A few general managers mentioned Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin or DeSean Jackson as possibilities. Jackson, as a home run hitter, might even make more sense than Maclin from a football standpoint. Jackson has had his issues in Philadelphia in the past, and, with the Eagles in a new regime under coach Chip Kelly, perhaps a deal could make sense.
First, I think the DeSean Jackson "issues" comment is just irrelevant. Any past "issues" seem to be resolved or else the Eagles wouldn't have awarded him with a contract last off-season. I don't think it makes much sense for the Eagles to trade Jackson. He seems like a speedy player Chip Kelly would absolutely love to have.
Getting back to Maclin, though, it's interesting that other GMs think the Eagles might trade him. I'd still say the chances Maclin gets traded aren't high, but I can't be completely sure. The one thing that is for sure is that this is just all *speculation* and there's been no actual reports of Maclin being on the trade block. In fact, Eagles beat reporter Les Bowen said there's no reason to buy into the speculation at all.
source close 2 situation says rumor that Colts might trade 4 Jeremy Maclin is wrong. But ya know, w/Grigson in Indy, some Eagle poss. target— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 18, 2013
For now, Eagles have nothing going on trade front, I'm told.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 18, 2013
It may amount to nothing, but at the least it's something to keep an eye on as the off-season slowly moves along.