The news is as bad as it can be for receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles have announced that Maclin has torn the ACL in his right knee. He’ll most likely be placed on injured reserve, ending his 2013 season. (However, Hall of Famer Rod Woodson once tore an ACL in Week One and then played in the Super Bowl.)
The timing helps both the Eagles and Maclin because the team has a full and fair chance to find a replacement, and Maclin has a full and fair chance to recover before he becomes a free agent in March 2014.
Still, it won’t help Maclin’s prospects for getting paid. With fewer teams spending big money on free agents, Maclin will at best get a contract that requires him to prove in the first year that he’s healthy, with the team holding the ability via an option or roster bonus to keep him beyond 2014.
As a result, he’d be better off signing a one-year deal, proving he’s fine next year, and hitting the market in 2015.
UPDATE 5:38 p.m. ET: Despite earlier reports that Maclin also may have torn the MCL, a league source tells PFT that Maclin’s MCL and PCL are not damaged.