The news of Jeremy Maclin‘s release on Friday surprised much of the NFL world, and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was among those blindsided by the decision, as he tells Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star. “Shocked,” Smith said of Maclin’s departure. “Jeremy is a really good friend, an amazing teammate, so still kind of just processing that he’s not going to be in there with us, a guy that’s done a lot for us the last two years, a guy I’ve grown really close to.” Maclin, 29, averaged 66 receptions, 812 yards, and five touchdowns in two seasons catching passes from Smith.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:
- Now that Maclin is a free agent, he could be a consideration for the 49ers, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com writes. San Francisco invested in one experienced wideout (Pierre Garcon) this offseason, but the rest of their receiving corps is relatively uninspiring. Marquise Goodwin, Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, Aldrick Robinson, and rookie Trent Taylor are among the 49ers’ other options at receiver. From a talent standpoint, Maclin would represent a clear upgrade, but it’s unclear if he prefers to sign on with a contending team. In the midst of a rebuild, San Francisco doesn’t figure to be overly competitive in 2017, meaning Maclin could look to latch on with a club closer to earning a postseason berth.
- Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley underwent core muscle surgery three weeks ago, and while he figures to miss organized team activities, Shipley will be ready for training camp, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. The 31-year-old Shipley, who re-signed with Arizona on a two-year, $3.5MM deal in March, graded as the league’s No. 14 center in 2016, per Pro Football Focus. Reserve interior lineman Cole Toner is currently working as the Cardinals’ center in Shipley’s absence, per Somers.
- Former Villanova linebacker Austin Calitro worked out for the Falcons and Chiefs this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Calitro, who went undrafted earlier this year, signed with the Jets in May but lasted only 10 days on their roster. During his senior collegiate season, Calitro registered 85 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three passes defensed.