With the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2012 campaign currently spiraling out of control, the ugly 3-7 squad might need to start looking towards next season sooner rather than later.
The Eagles will likely be going through a significant transitional period during the off-season, as QB Michael Vick and head coach Andy Reid are expected to be given their walking papers.
If this is the case, the Eagles may very well be looking to dump some of their larger contracts in order to clear up salary cap space to aid the change of direction. They should also be fielding offers on their young players with promise, in an attempt to acquire help at positions of need.
Two of the most intriguing trade targets on the Eagles are wide-outs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Both youngsters have proven to possess incredible speed and receiving ability, but have each had to deal with mediocre quarterback play lately by Vick and backup Nick Foles.
Jackson just signed a fat 5-year, $51 million contract this past off-season while Maclin is currently an Eagle until 2014 under his original 5-year, $15.5 million rookie deal.
Jackson caught only two passes for 5 yards and Maclin was held without a reception. While Maclin has been invisible at times this season even when healthy, Jackson has produced consistent receiving numbers from both receptions and yardage standpoints when Vick was under center.
The only wide-out Foles was able to connect with to any extent was Riley Cooper, who is really considered the Eagles’ fourth or even fifth wide receiver. Cooper’s impressive 5 catches for 61 yards came only because WR Jason Avant was out with injury, and Maclin and Jackson seemed to be blanketed with defenders.
The way I see it, Jackson and Maclin are both speedy and elusive wide receivers that could thrive beyond belief in the right system, with a solid pass-thrower at quarterback.
It would be smart for the Eagles to trade either Jackson or Maclin, and try to acquire a tall and physical wide-out who can complement the speed and shiftiness that both current Eagles hold.
And while shaking up the wide receiving corps could bring some life to this Eagles’ offense, the entire team has plenty of other off-season issues to worry about as well.
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