Being inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame wasn’t the only topic of conversation Friday for Jeremy Maclin during a media session before his induction ceremony at Memorial Stadium’s Columns Club.
Maclin — who finished with 85 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns, all career highs, for the Eagles last season — will be among the most-prized NFL free agents when the new league year begins March 10.
Maclin seems intent on returning to Philadelphia, where he’s spent the entirety of his six-year pro career, racking up 343 catches for 4,771 and 36 touchdowns in 75 games.
“I’ve always said I wanted to be an Eagle,” said Maclin, who was the 19th overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft. “They’ve expressed the same, so hopefully something gets worked out. I also understand that this is a business and I also understand that anything can happen.”
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Chiefs fans, of course, dream of a reunion with former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, who is entering his third season in Kansas City.
Maclin, a St. Louis native who missed the 2013 season with a torn ACL, did not rule out the possibility, but reiterated that he’s unlikely to leave the City of Brotherly Love.
“When you have ties to people that you’ve worked with in the past, it’s intriguing,” Maclin said. “But like I said, my heart’s in Philly, so hopefully we can get something worked out there.”
Maclin, who had career-bests with 21 catches of at least 20 yards and seven catches of at least 40 yards last season, played for Reid from 2009-12.
If Maclin were to sign with the Chiefs, it would also be a reunion with Daniel, who is Alex Smith’s backup.
The two formed a lethal combination — 182 receptions, 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns — in two seasons together at Missouri.
Daniel said he wasn’t above talking up Sundays at Arrowhead Stadium to Maclin.
“We’ve had our chats,” Daniel said. “He’s my guy. We’ve had some text conversations back and forth. No doubt about it.”
Maclin said he hadn’t spoken with Daniel about his future, but he expected the conversation was coming.
“We haven’t really talked about it, but I’m pretty sure we might talk about it a little bit tonight,” Maclin said.
Obviously, the Chiefs have a need at wide receiver, especially one with Maclin’s skillset, after becoming the first team in 50 years to go an entire season with a touchdown catch from a wide receiver.
“Anywhere he decides to go to play, you’re going to get an explosive athlete with a lot of heart, a lot of athletic ability and someone who can stretch the field vertically,” Daniel said.
Maclin averaged roughly 65 receptions, 863 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons under Reid, numbers he’s likely to continue to dwarf in pass-happy Chip Kelly’s system.