Alarming news out of Philadelphia Eagles training camp Saturday, as wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was carted off the practice field with an injury to his right knee. Eyewitness accounts painted a grim picture of Maclin in serious pain and leaving with a towel covering his face. After practice, the Eagles said only that Maclin had a right knee injury and was still being evaluated.
Obviously, we'll wait for further word on this before making any declarations about its impact on the Eagles' upcoming season. But for Maclin's sake, you have to hope the news isn't as bad as the reports from the scene indicate it could be. Maclin is entering the final year of his contract and spoke just recently about how much he's looking forward to using this year to prove his worth as a top NFL receiver in Chip Kelly's new high-octane offense. A major leg injury would obviously cost him the chance to cash in big as a free agent next offseason.
This is why you see players hold out for new contracts when they have leverage, as the New York Giants' Victor Cruz did by skipping offseason workouts this spring. Cruz's fellow star Giants receiver, Hakeem Nicks, has opted for the opposite approach and will enter the 2013 season with one year left on his deal and hoping to play better than he did in 2012 so as to maximize his value. You can see why Nicks chooses to handle it this way off his injury-plagued 2012, but this news on Maclin, no matter how it turns out, is a reminder of the risk that comes with that strategy.