Eagles re-sign Maclin, to Broncos’ apparent chagrin

Last updated: Feb 28, 2014 5:39 PM

Pending free agent wideout Jeremy Maclin got the prove-it deal he wanted from the Eagles, as the two sides have agreed to a one-year deal.

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos were among the teams planning to pursue the sixth-year player on the open market, as Ted had suggested they should earlier in the week.

Maclin, who will turn 26 in May, suffered a season-ending ACL injury during training camp last year. He reportedly got $3.5M in guarantees for 2014, with a maximum value of $6M.

Schefter's report provides a glimpse into the Broncos' mindset as they prepare to potentialy replace Eric Decker, who figures to command one of the largest contracts among free agent wideouts.

Drafting or signing a wide receiver on the relative cheap makes all the sense in the world.

This is especially true given that harder-to-replace weapons Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas (among several other key players) are each entering their contract year in 2014, and the Broncos clearly cannot afford to pay everyone.

Peyton Manning also looms as a large factor - first, because he will be retiring any year now, and Denver's roster structure and overall strategy will likely change once that occurs. Surrounding Manning's successor - whether it's Brock Osweiler or someone else - with a pricey offense (at the expense of the defense) probably wouldn't be particularly wise.

Second, Manning has made a habit throughout his career of maximizing the talents of lowly drafted receivers.

It may be natural to think the Broncos should keep intact the offensive roster that rewrote the NFL's record books in 2013.

But as long as Manning is around, Denver will rack up enough points and yards to win most games.

Swapping out Decker for a lesser or inexperienced player would probably slow that prolific offense a bit.

But really, how many points do they need to score?

The guaranteed money it would take to re-sign Decker long term could otherwise be used to fill several holes in the roster.

Like Ted, I can see a case for keeping Decker via franchise tender for a year, as the Broncos remain in go-for-it mode with Manning.

I'd rather see them spend that money elsewhere - Manning will ensure explosiveness on offense.

It's up to John Elway & Co. to make sure the team is set for the longer term, and doesn't turn into a version of the 2011 Colts after Peyton retires.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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