Eagles Free Agency 2014: Jeremy Maclin Deal Isn't Close, But Optimism Remains

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Reports indicate that Jeremy Maclin isn't close to a new deal, but both Maclin and the Eagles are still talking. Many remain optimistic a deal will get done before the start of 2014 NFL free agency.

With Riley Cooper now in the fold and Eagles offensive linemen Jason Peters and Jason Kelce signed to extensions, the focus of the Eagles' front office turns to re-signing pending free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The last we left off was on Wednesday night when a number of outlets reported the Eagles are making progress towards a new deal.

It's still being reported that Maclin and the Eagles are talking, but Adam Schefter says the deal isn't close right now. Remaining hurdles in a potential deal is the matter of guaranteed money and incentives. It's possible that Maclin wants to sign a short, one-year deal which ideally would allow him to put up big numbers in 2014 so he can hit free agency hard after the season. The Eagles could have also have interest in that type of deal because it mitigates risk in the short-term, but at the same time, it prevents the Eagles from locking up Maclin for longer at a cheaper rate.

Still, the Eagles are expected to bring Maclin back before the start of free agency on March 11. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport described the situation as optimistic. Local Philly beat reporters (McLane, Bowen, Eskin) have reiterated the deal is expected to happen within the next 12 days. While the Eagles have some time left, it's in their best interest to lock up Maclin sooner than later. If the Eagles don't re-sign Maclin before he makes it to free agency, he will reportedly have anywhere from four to six teams interested in his services.

For now, it seems like there's a good chance Maclin will be back. But until it's official, expectations should be tempered.

[Note by Brandon Lee Gowton, 02/27/14 4:50 PM EST] - PFT is reporting that Jeremy Maclin wants a one-year contract, but the Eagles desire a multi-year deal.

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On a different note, the other pending free agent the Eagles will have interest in re-signing is veteran punter Donnie Jones. According to Bowen, both the Eagles and Jones are talking but no deal is imminent. Jones is heavily expected to re-sign with the team after having a great season. Note: It's worth mentioning Jones can't sign a deal (for more than the vet minimum) until the start of free agency.

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