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Eagles, Jeremy Maclin aren't significantly far apart on new contract

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Are the Eagles close to re-signing their former first round pick?

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Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer appears to have some positive news regarding the Eagles and Jeremy Maclin contract's situation. According to McLane, the two sides "weren't significantly far apart" the last time he checked. There's also some information on what a potential Maclin contract would look like. From McLane's recent column (bold emphasis mine):

"Maclin should be the No. 1 priority for the Eagles before free agency starts on March 10. They lose him and they’re really going to have to pay if they want to sign a free agent of comparable skill -- if there is one remaining. It shouldn’t come to that. Maclin wants to stay, the Eagles want him, and last I heard they weren’t significantly far apart. He should end up with a contract somewhere in the $9.5-$10 million a year range with most of around $20 million guaranteed in the first two years. If a deal can’t be struck by Monday afternoon, the Eagles will have to decide whether or not to use the franchise tag ($12.8 million). It’s unlikely the Eagles will want to pay Maclin that much over one season. He rolled the dice signing a one-year contract and delivered a career season (85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns) in 2014, but Maclin is still viewed around the league as just a smidge below the elite set of receivers. Kelly probably places more worth on Maclin because he knows the intangibles (full effort, team leader, high character) he brings to the table, but the Eagles would probably only use the tag to buy time and keep Maclin off the market."

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McLane's last point there is key. The Eagles have until Monday 4:00 PM EST to apply the franchise tag, if they want to use it. And even if the team does use it, that doesn't necessarily mean Maclin has to play out the 2015 season on the one-year tender. For example, back in 2011 the Eagles used the franchise tag on Michael Vick before later agreeing on a long-term contract extension.

If Maclin isn't tagged or re-signed by Monday, Philadelphia will have just over a week until March 10 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. It's also worth noting the "legal tampering period" begins on Saturday, March 7.

With that said, it still seems like a deal is bound to get done. Maclin has made it clear that he wants to stay. His actions also seem to back up his words. He's been working out in Philadelphia this offseason. As of today he's even participating in team charity events while wearing an Eagles jersey.

At this point it really seems like a new deal is only a matter of time.