Whenever we explore a specific transaction in our “This Day” series, we tend to focus on deals from several years ago. However, for today, we only have to go back one calendar year to find a notable move on the transaction report.
One year ago today, the Chiefs decided to part ways with wideout Jeremy Maclin. The move was relatively surprising at the time, and it definitely wasn’t anticipated when the veteran initially signed the lucrative contract back in 2015.
The 2009 first-round pick had five productive seasons in Philly, including a 2014 campaign where he compiled 1,318 receiving yards en route to a Pro Bowl birth. Maclin had bet on himself following the 2013 season, inking a one-year, $6MM deal ($3.5MM guaranteed) that would allow him to hit free agency in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs were hunting for a wideout. The 2014 squad had a solid offense, headlined by quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles, and tight end Travis Kelce. However, the team’s depth at receiver was lacking, with Dwayne Bowe showing his age and the platter of young wideouts failing to progress.
Maclin was seeking a big payday, and the Chiefs were willing to spend on a top wideout. The pairing seemed natural, and the two sides ultimately agreed on a five-year, $55MM contract during the 2015 offseason. Maclin’s first season in Kansas City was solid, although it didn’t live up to his dynamic 2014 campaign. A torn groin limited the veteran to only 12 games in 2016, and he proceed to establish then-career-lows in receptions (44), yards (536), and touchdowns (two).
Then, one year ago today, the Chiefs suddenly gave up on the veteran wideout. His underwhelming production in 2016 certainly contributed to this decision, as did the emergence of fellow wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The organization was also strapped for cash, and the move cleared $10MM in space for the team (along with $2.4MM in dead cap).
The Chiefs didn’t end up missing Maclin last season, as they finished as one of the top-five offenses in the NFL. Maclin went on to sign with Baltimore, where he set more career-lows with 40 receptions and 440 yards. Maclin was released by the Ravens back in March, and the 30-year-old has yet to find a new home.
The Chiefs didn’t really suffer any long-term financial issues due to the Maclin signing. However, instead of releasing him one year ago today, we’re sure both sides would have preferred if Maclin was still producing at a high level on his initial contract.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.