For the last few years, Philadelphia Eagles' receiver Jeremy Maclin has been poised as a guy ready to make "the jump."
However, after notching 964 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010, Maclin hasn't progressed. More importantly, Maclin is entering a contract year, and I've been arguing with friends about what should be done with him for weeks.
As a result, let's a take a look at some comparable receivers who just got contracts to see what kind of contract we could expect for Maclin headed into this year.
To begin, let's examine this year's prize in free agency, Mike Wallace.
Mike Wallace is a good fit here because he's from the same draft class as Maclin (2009) and is seen as a top performer, which is why I recently compared him to the odd case of Victor Cruz. So, here's Wallace's career by the numbers compared to Maclin.
Wallace has had a very productive career thus far, earning a Pro Bowl appearance in 2011 despite having a better 2010 season. What's more important is that Wallace had a little bit of a down year in 2012 and walked away with a deal for five years, $60 million dollars.
If Maclin plays like it's a contract year and gets something like 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns, he could very well be in line for a deal a little lower than Wallace's on the open market. Though that's not to say he's worth it.
This next player also signed a new contract and was drafted to two sports after Maclin in 2009. After being traded to Seattle for three draft picks, Percy Harvin recently signed an extension for six years, $67 million dollars. Let's see how Maclin stacks up to the newest Seahawk.
When comparing these numbers, Maclin compares quite favorably to Harvin as a receiver and could be a more reasonable negotiating point this upcoming year if Maclin improves. However, Harvin has increased value due to his contributions as a runner (684 career yards and four touchdowns) and kick returner (five touchdowns). If he returns punts under Chip Kelly, which he's recently been practicing, this might be a closer comparison than expected.
The last player that I'd like to compare with Maclin is already on the same team and rhymes with Schmeschmawn Schmackson: Riley Cooper. Wait, that's not right. DeSean Jackson signed a new deal with the Eagles last year that extended him for five years, $51 million dollars. But how does Maclin match up to his counterpart? Let's see.
Note: For this case, I removed DeSean's 2012 numbers to compare his numbers after four full seasons.
At the same point in his career, DeSean was doing much better than Maclin by a solid margin, generating 600 more yards, contributing on punt returns and making the most memorable play in modern Eagles history. So, what does this all mean for Mac going forward?
Well, it means that if he were to have a year that's par for the course (850 yards, seven touchdowns and no punt returns), then he'll likely get an extension offer from the Eagles for something like five years, $45 million.
The question then would be: Is he worth it?
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