By Sarah Berkowitz

If the Eagles are truly committed to retaining the services of their top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, they aren’t showing it.

The Eagles decided not to place the franchise tag on Maclin, who set career highs last season in receptions (85) and yards (1,318) and tied it in touchdowns (10). The deadline for the tag, which is worth $12.8 million for the 2015 season for wide receivers, was Monday afternoon.

That leaves the Eagles until Friday to sign Maclin to a long-term deal before he can start negotiating with other teams. Those teams, however, can’t sign free agents until March 10.

Both sides have often expressed a desire to work out a long-term deal. Maclin said this most recently on Dec. 28, the day the season ended.

“I’m patiently waiting,” Maclin said then. “I think everything will take care of itself. Who knows? Both sides have made it clear — I want to be here and they want me here. At the end of the day, it is a business. We’ll see what happens.”

For Maclin, the franchise tag would have paid him more than double the $5.5 million he made last season on a one-year deal. He should still average significantly more than $5.5 million over a long-term deal.

Maclin’s worth might have been enhanced Monday after Dallas placed the franchise tag on Dez Bryant and Denver did the same with Demaryius Thomas. Those two were considered the top wide receivers eligible for free agency. That leaves Maclin and Green Bay’s Randall Cobb as the top potential free agent wide receivers.

Had the Eagles placed the tag on Maclin, he would have become the highest-paid player on the team for 2015, and it would have used up nearly half of the team’s projected salary-cap space to sign other free agents.


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