Chris Burke recently reviewed the Eagles' offseason moves in his report card for SI.com. He gave Philadelphia a "B", and you can read more about his explanation here. Last month, we talked about how Burke said Kiko Alonso was the Eagles' best offseason acquisition. Our polling results showed fans think differently, however. Though it was close, Byron Maxwell received the highest amount of votes.
Today we're back to assess the Eagles' biggest offseason loss. Burke argues the player Philadelphia will miss the most is Jeremy Maclin:
"Transitioning out a starting quarterback, running back and wide receiver has to catch up with the Eagles somewhere, right? This could be the spot. Agholor is a terrific fit for Kelly's scheme, but Maclin was far and away Philadelphia's top receiving option last season. Coming off a knee injury and playing on a one-year deal, Maclin led the Eagles with 85 receptions, 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Who is the go-to target in his stead? Kelly might ask if the Eagles really need one—Agholor is a versatile weapon, Matthews caught 67 balls as a rookie, Josh Huff is pushing for a larger role and veterans Riley Cooper and Miles Austin are in the fold.
No one there quite fits the bill as a true No. 1, at least not in the Calvin Johnson/A.J. Green sense."
There's evidence to suggest the Eagles feel the same way. The Eagles traded away LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles. The team released veterans like Trent Cole and Evan Mathis. Unlike those players, the Eagles actually tried to keep Maclin but Kansas City outbid them for his services. Philadelphia then went on to use a first round pick on a wide receiver, Nelson Agholor, in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Maclin finished the 2014 season with 85 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. That's a lot of production to replace. Fortunately for the Eagles, they might have some young players on the roster who are capable of stepping up. Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, and Nelson Agholor could be a very good receiving corps for years to come, but first they need to prove themselves. Helping to replace Maclin's production will be a good first test.
Elsewhere, losing the franchise's leading rusher in LeSean McCoy is obviously a big deal. Releasing Evan Mathis was not a popular move, especially since the Eagles already lacked depth up front. Trent Cole isn't in his prime anymore but he was a proven starter. Some will say the Eagles will miss Nick Foles, though if he continues where he left off in 2014 that won't be the case.
I ask you: which player will the Eagles miss the most?