Jeremy Maclin's value

As I wrote this morning, still no update on Jeremy Maclin's condition, nor any indication from the Philadelphia Eagles on when we'll have one. Eagles GM Howie Roseman spoke with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio and said this:

"We totally anticipate Jeremy being part of our football team. We anticipate him being back here shortly with us when we get back to NovaCare" after the preseason game in Pittsburgh.

Which is more or less what Roseman said Tuesday, which is more or less the Eagles just saying they have nothing to report.

In the meantime, Sheil Kapadia took up the question of just how important Maclin is to the Eagles. And with all due deference to DeSean Jackson (Sheil makes it clear he's not saying Maclin is more valuable than Jackson), he has Maclin down as the Eagles' best red zone receiving threat, most reliable receiver against the blitz and more reliable than Jackson (per Football Outsiders) at actually catching the ball.

Which means, if Maclin's illness is serious enough to cost him part of the season (as it seems more and more likely, as weeks go on and he doesn't practice, that it will be), the Eagles will suffer for it. All of the free-agent additions they made were intended to augment a roster that was already relying on electrifying offensive stars, and Maclin is unquestionably one of those.

Should they be forced to play without him for any significant period of time, the sky-high expectations that have grown out of the Eagles' free-agent spree will have to be toned down. As good as Jason Avant may be, and as much as a healthy Steve Smith could help, they simply don't have anyone on the roster who can replicate Maclin's value to their team.