Maclin speaks

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Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin arrives at the Philadelphia International Airport on August 4, 2009. (Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Jeremy Maclin spoke today for the first time since his nine-day holdout ended with the signing of his contract this afternoon. The rookie wide receiver arrived at Lehigh this afternoon and put his John Hancock on a five-year, $15.5 million contract. He wasn't ready for the afternoon special teams practice, but he met with coach Andy Reid and said he's ready to go for tomorrow morning's practice.

"It's been hard," Maclin said. "Obviously, I'm a competitive guy and I want to be out here playing. It is what it is and I'm looking forward to what the future has in store."

Maclin was asked how much he thought his holdout would cost him -- on the field.

"When it comes to football -- especially in the NFL -- I think there's a business part to it first," Maclin said. "Sometimes you got to get things figured out. This may be the only contract so sometimes you got to what's best and get the first one right."

Maclin wouldn't get specific about what exactly it was that kept talks between his agent Jim Steiner and the Eagles from reaching a conclusion. Asked if he spoke to some of the players upon his arrival and if they gave him a hard time about holding out, Maclin said that the players understood since many have been in his shoes before. Still, he wasn't ruling out a comment or two from his teammates.

"Hopefully, I don't experience [comments]," Maclin said. "I think if they do it's all out of love."

Maclin said he continued to workout as contract negotiations dragged on. He was in Philadelphia area for much of the time having recently purchased and moved into a new home in South Jersey. On Friday, he flew back to his hometown of St. Louis.

"I just went home to spend time with my family and kind of get my mind off of everything," Maclin said.

The Eagles top pick said he felt confident that he would be able to make up for any lost time and try to be ready by next Thursday's preseason game against the Patriots.

I'm "very excited," Maclin said. "This is my passion. I love the game of football."

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