Years later, former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin still questions his decision to leave Philly back in 2015.
The Chip Kelly stint was a hard time to get through if you were a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. Seeing the man cut DeSean Jackson for no reason, trading away LeSean McCoy for an injury-riddled middle linebacker, while also dishing out Nick Foles was just a string of moves that didn’t make any sense at all.
Perhaps, that’s the reason why former first-round pick Jeremy Maclin decided to pack up and leave the Birds, despite having an incredible season during his contract year. Chip Kelly actually wanted to keep Maclin around at the time, rightfully so. But the veteran wideout already had plans to pack up and leave to join Andy Reid with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Maclin was missed from that point on. Eagles fans grew bitter for a bit, as they watched the team struggle to replace him. Eventually, though, everybody got over it. But to this day, Maclin still thinks about those times and is unsure of whether he truly made the right decision or not.
This week, Jeremy Maclin returns to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since his departure. Since the wideout announced his retirement this season, the Eagles figured they would like to honor No. 18 by making him an honorary captain this week as the Eagles face the Jets.
Emotions running high
It will be an exciting time for Maclin, who recently opened up about his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. “Having a chance to say goodbye to Eagles fans after recently announcing my retirement is definitely going to be emotional for me,” Maclin said in a letter that he penned to Birds fans.
“I love you, Eagles fans. I appreciated you all six years I was there, and I still appreciate you all now more than you could ever know. I appreciate everything. I appreciate the support and I appreciate the criticism, too. It comes with the territory and I think it all made me who I am today.”
While Maclin is appreciative of the time he spent with Eagles fans, he also still questions his decision to initially leave, four years later. “Still to this day, I ask myself, did I make the right decision by leaving as a free agent in 2015?”
While Maclin claims he doesn’t feel regretful for leaving and joining the Chiefs, it sure sounds like the decision was a lot harder to make than it seemed. As we know, Maclin and the Chiefs got into a bit of trouble as the NFL labeled the situation as tampering — further revealing that Maclin was out on the Eagles way earlier than expected.
Regardless of that situation, though, Maclin never really reached the bad side of Eagles fans because of his departure. At the time, everybody was more focused on being fed up with Chip Kelly and understood that players did not want to play for the current head coach. Now, those bad times can be left in the past as the Eagles are on to bigger and better things. Hopefully, the man we called ‘J-Mac’ will be as well as he takes on retirement.