PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Maclin doesn’t have to make any excuses or give any explanations. He was a free agent who chose to exercise the freedom implied in that designation. No problem.
But Maclin told the Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday that his decision to sign with Kansas City wasn’t about money. And that strains his credibility more than just a bit.
"It wasn't really about money," Maclin said at a charity event sponsored by Todd Herremans, another former Eagle. "Obviously you want to get paid because of all the stuff that you do. But it wasn't necessarily about who could pay me the most money."
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said the team had every intention of signing Maclin.
“We didn’t think there was another receiver in that price range in free agency,” Kelly said. “We were trying to get Mac back. Felt we gave him a real competitive offer. Kansas City offered him a lot more than we did. We just weren’t going to go that high.”
The Chiefs signed Maclin for $55 million over five years, including $22.5 million guaranteed. In Kansas City, Maclin will be reunited with Andy Reid, the coach who drafted him in the first round in Philadelphia.
But Maclin not only maintained that his decision wasn’t based on money, but he also wanted to play for Kelly.
“I still believe in Chip," Maclin told the Inquirer. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."
Something doesn’t quite line up there. Again, Maclin doesn’t have to explain anything. But if money wasn’t the determining factor and he still believes in Kelly, who’s “going to do great things” in the NFL, then it seems pretty obvious that Maclin should still be an Eagle.
He isn’t. By remarkable coincidence, Maclin signed with the team that offered the most money.
No one’s blaming him for that. It would just be more honest to come out and acknowledge the obvious.