It still sounds as if Jeremy Maclin expects to get a deal done with the Eagles, instead of leaving in free agency on March 10.
"I've always said I want to be here in Philadelphia, but I've also always said I understand it's a business," Maclin said Saturday, following an appearance on behalf of the team at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Heart Health Day, in front of Lord & Taylor at the King of Prussia Mall. "Both sides have made it known that we both want each other back, so the rest of it is in God's hands. If it's supposed to happen, it'll happen. I want to be here."
Monday is the deadline for the Eagles to ensure Maclin returns by sticking the franchise tag on the team's 2014 top receiver. Maclin said he had no idea if that would happen, and said he didn't know until a reporter told him that the franchise figure for a wideout would be about $12.8 million for 2015. If that hasn't been part of discussions, and if Maclin hasn't even talked over the ramfications of the tag with his agent, Tom Condon --- it all makes the tag seem unlikely.
The tag might not be an attractive option for the team because all the money would count toward the 2015 cap, using up about half the current available room, before free agent shopping starts.
"Everybody likes long-term security," Maclin said. Asked how he would feel if he were tagged, Maclin said: "It's part of the business. I'm very attuned to what's going on, I'm very attuned to how everything works. My side and the Eagles, if we're going to come to a head, we will."
Asked if he thinks the talks are going well, Maclin said: "I think they're going how they're supposed to be going. I didn't sign (a one-year deal, Maclin coming off knee surgery) last year until today, I think, is the day. I understand this is how it goes. I'm looking forward to what the future holds."
Asked if he is OK with the pace, Maclin said: "Yeah, I'm fine."
Asked if he is keeping other options open -- much was made of a possible Kansas City reunion with Andy Reid when Maclin went back to the University of Missouri recently to be inducted into the school's hall of fame -- Maclin said: "You don't really know what's out there until free agency starts. I know on paper what teams look like they need receivers. I also understand, this is the place I want to be. We'll see what happens."
Asked why no deal has been struck to date, Maclin said: "There's no rush. What's the rush? We're going to do this thing, we're going to do it right. That's how you want it to happen, that's how you want it to be. We want both sides to be happy. If it's gonna get done, the right way, it will."
During the 2014 season, Maclin's agent, Ben Dogra, was fired by CAA and Maclin stayed with CAA, Condon taking over as his representative. There have been reports that talks were going more smoothly with Dogra than they have with Condon, who has done fewer recent deals with the Birds' front office.
"It's been a long time since I changed agents, so no," Maclin said, when asked if he thought the agent change had been a factor in his talks.
Maclin, who turns 27 in May, came back from missing 2013 because of knee surgery to catch 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He was the team's first-round draft choice, 19th overall, in 2009.