PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two of the most tenured Philadelphia Eagles, one on each side of the ball, could be playing their final game for the team Sunday against the New York Giants.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, a former first-round pick and a six-year veteran, and linebacker Trent Cole, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-year veteran, will be part of an interesting offseason for coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
Maclin will be a free agent come Monday, and while both sides would like to get a deal done, there hasn’t been any progress made toward that goal.
“This is a great place to be,” Maclin said. “I’ve always spoken well about the organization. … Everything they’ve ever told me has been true. This is the place that drafted me. I want to end my career here.”
But the guy who drafted him isn’t there any longer. And, as a matter of fact, he’s in Kansas City, where wide receiver is a primary need, since none of the current Chiefs at that position has a touchdown catch this season. Oh, and by the way, Maclin grew up in Missouri and played his college ball there.
If the Eagles don’t get a deal done with Maclin sometime between Monday and the start of free agency, expect Maclin’s first call to come from Andy Reid, his former coach and the current coach in Kansas City.
Maclin, who has had a career year with 82 receptions for 1,269 yards and 10 touchdowns, is sticking to his story: He wants to be an Eagle.
“Both sides have made it clear: They want me here and I want to be here,” he said. “I think we can get something done.”
Cole is under contract next season, but at $10 million, twice the salary he earned this year. None of the money is guaranteed, although the Eagles would owe the linebacker a buyout believed to be over $1 million if he is released.
The team has opened talks with Cole’s backup, Brandon Graham, on a new deal and invested a No. 1 pick last year on another linebacker, Marcus Smith. So at 32 years old, he may have to restructure his deal, if the team asks.
“That, I don’t know,” Cole said. “I want to be here. I do. I certainly want to be here, retire here. It’s a chance for me to be one of the first in Eagles history to be able to retire with just one team and also be one in the NFL to retire with one team. That’s an accomplishment, but I understand things change all the time.
“They might love to keep me; they might not love to keep me. It’s on them. This is the NFL. It is what it is. I understand. I’m calm. Business is business. They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do.”
NOTES: Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who has had a rough season and struggled the last two weeks, is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with a hip injury.
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