Jeremy Maclin

Philadelphia Eagesl Jeremy Maclin is seen at the NFL football team's training camp in Philadelphia, Sunday, July 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles aren't in any big hurry to replace injured wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Rather sign an aging free agent such as Randy Moss or - gasp - Terrell Owens, general manager Howie Roseman indicated Sunday that they are more likely to examine current players at both wide receiver and other positions to replace Maclin, who suffered a knee injury in practice Saturday that likely ended his season.

"You always explore options," Roseman said before the Eagles public practice at Lincoln Financial Field. "But right now we're excited about some of the young guys that we have and we'll go from there."

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Maclin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during seven-on-seven drills, was expected to be a key part of coach Chip Kelly's offense. The 25-year-old was the team's leading receiver last season and was viewed as a reliable target for Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley or whoever winds up being the starting quarterback.

Without him, the Eagles will turn to DeSean Jackson and other wide receivers such as Riley Cooper, Arrelious Benn, Damaris Johnson, Jason Avant and possibly Ifeynai Momah and rookie free agent Russell Sheppard.

But the offense will also center around tight ends James Casey, Brent Celek and rookie Zach Ertz, who was drafted in the second round, in addition to running backs LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and maybe Felix Jones.

"We have a lot of tape on the skill position group as a whole, that's kind of how we look at it," Roseman said. "We're not only looking at just the wide receiver group, we look at the running back group, we look at the tight end group. Those are the guys we have high hopes and expectations for, and that's what camp is for, the competition, and that's why we brought in people to compete."

The timing could not have been worse for Maclin. He decided against holding out in an effort to get a contract extension. He is making $1.6 million in the final year of a five-year contract he signed as the team's first-round draft pick in 2009.

He reported to training camp on Thursday at the NovaCare Complex in excellent condition and was an early standout before he crumpled to the turf during Saturday's practice.

"It's disappointing for him and it's disappointing for us," Roseman said. "He's 25 years old and he'll come back from this. We're hurting for him but at same time we have to keep going and find guys. We know in this business people are going to get hurt it's a matter of who those guys are. It stinks that it's Jeremy Maclin, but we have to move on."

EXTRA POINTS: The Eagles introduced more than 30 former players to the crowd before starting practice. Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook were the fan favorites. The group of players also included Ocean City resident Riley Gunnels, who was a member of the Eagles' 1960 NFL Championship team.

As expected, the Eagles announced earlier Sunday that McNabb will be officially retiring as an Eagle during a press conference on Monday at the NovaCare Complex.


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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