Jeremy Maclin

This Date In Transactions History: Chiefs Release Jeremy Maclin

Three years ago today, the Chiefs shocked everyone with their release of Jeremy Maclin. Despite a down 2016, Maclin still profiled as one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL and was slated to enter the year as the Chiefs No. 1 wideout. Instead of waiting to see what the 29-year-old could do, they opted for more cap space and more targets for their younger receivers, including second-year pro Tyreek Hill.

At the time of his release, Maclin was not far removed from his 1,000+-yard 2015 season, or even his stellar 2014 with the Eagles, when he set a career high of 1,318 yards. His 2015 debut with Kansas City was, in some respects, even more impressive – Maclin caught 70.2% of his targets, easily topping his career 61.3% mark.

Still, the Chiefs saw an opportunity to save in an area where they already had a surplus of talent. Dropping Maclin saved the club $10MM in cap room with just $2.4MM left in dead money. The move made sense from a club perspective, but the timing was less-than-fair for the veteran.

Had he been released in March, Maclin would have had an opportunity to secure a solid multi-year payday. The league wasn’t all that juiced about the free agent WR market – Alshon Jeffery led the way with a one-year, $14MM deal and Terrelle Pryor settled for a one-year, $6MM deal, despite his camp’s best efforts to position him as an eight-figure salary player. In June, he was viewed as the bell of the ball, ahead of options including Anquan Boldin, Steve Johnson, Eddie Royal, and Marquess Wilson, but most of the money had dried up. He wound up signing with the Ravens on a two-year, $11MM deal.

Maclin never got the opportunity to justify his hefty five-year, $55MM pact in KC, and he clearly wasn’t the same player when he moved on to Baltimore. He finished out with just 40 catches for 440 yards for an average of eleven yards per grab – all career lows. Then, an injury wiped out his 2018 season. Last year, Maclin wasn’t able to scare up much interest as a free agent, prompting him to retire at the age of 30.

The decision to drop Maclin was puzzling at the time, but it’s hard to argue with the call in retrospect. Hill went on to have a breakout 2017 with 75 catches, 1,183 yards, and seven touchdowns. And, last season, their explosive offense propelled them to Super Bowl glory.

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This Date In Transactions History: Chiefs Release Jeremy Maclin

On this date in 2017, the Chiefs shocked the football world with their release of Jeremy Maclin. Despite a down 2016, Maclin still profiled as one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL and was slated to enter the year as the Chiefs No. 1 wideout. 

At the time of his release, Maclin was still only 29 and was not far removed from his 1,000-yard+ 2015 campaign. There was some logic in the move – cutting Maclin loose saved the Chiefs $10MM in cap space with just $2.4MM left in dead money, but the veteran surely would have preferred to be released in March, when there was more available money around the NFL.

Maclin never got the opportunity to justify his hefty five-year, $55MM deal in Kansas City, and he clearly wasn’t the same player when he moved on to the Ravens in 2017. Maclin finished out with just 40 catches for 440 yards for an average of eleven yards per grab – all career lows.

With Maclin out of the picture, the Chiefs were able to put a larger focus on rising sophomore Tyreek Hill. Hill was something of a gadget player as a rookie, but he truly broke out in 2017 with a 75/1,183/7 line.

Today, Hill’s football future is in limbo, but, from a football perspective, the decision to move on from Maclin proved to be a wise one. The Chiefs have boasted one of the league’s most potent aerial attacks for the last two seasons thanks in large part to Hill and a younger group of targets. Meanwhile, Maclin spent 2018 out of football before announcing his retirement earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jeremy Maclin Announces Retirement

Former NFL wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has announced his retirement from the NFL, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Maclin, 30, was released by the Ravens last March but still expressed an interest in continuing his career in 2018. He didn’t garner any looks in free agency, however, although the Eagles were reportedly monitoring his status. Maclin’s health was an issue, as he suffered a hamstring/glute injury during a training session that required surgery in October. That ailment ruled him out for the 2018 campaign, and may have contributed to Maclin’s decision to hang up his cleats.

A first-round pick of the Eagles in 2009, Maclin averaged 64 receptions and 864 yards per season before breaking out in 2014, when he posted 85 catches for 1,318 yards and seven touchdowns. That performance landed him a five-year, $55MM contract with the Chiefs, and Maclin’s success continued in his first go-round in Kansas City, as he managed a 85/1,088/10 line.

In 2016, however, Maclin missed four games and failed to top 50 receptions or 600 yards receiving, and the Chiefs cut him after only two years. He landed with the Ravens on a two-year deal, but his results in Baltimore resembled his final year in Kansas City, leading to his release.

PFR extends its best wishes to Maclin and his family as he enters post-NFL life.

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WR Jeremy Maclin To Undergo Surgery

Jeremy Maclin won’t be playing this season. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the veteran wideout is set to undergo a “procedure on a hamstring/glute injury that’s kept him from working out for teams.” The 30-year-old won’t be able to return in time for the 2018 season, but he’s expected to be ready for the 2019 campaign.

The former Pro Bowler had tweaked his hamstring during training sessions, but reports from mid-September indicated that he was close to being healthy. Maclin reportedly had offers in hand prior to training camp, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that teams were continuing to monitor the wideout. They only definitive interest in the wideout was the Eagles, who had Maclin on their radar during the offseason.

Following two seasons in Kansas City, Maclin joined the Ravens prior to the 2017 season. In 12 games with Baltimore, the wideout hauled in 40 receptions for 440 yards and three touchdowns. With the veteran set to have a $7.5MM cap hit for the 2018 season, the Ravens released Maclin back in March.

By the time the upcoming offseason comes around, Maclin will be three seasons removed from his last 1,000-yard season. A team looking for a veteran presence could take a stab at the wideout, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to garner more than a one-year deal for the minimum.

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Jeremy Maclin Close To Being Healthy

Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is close to being healthy after suffering a hamstring/glute injury in training, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Garafolo expects Maclin to have some workouts and visits soon as teams have been keeping tabs on his situation. 

Maclin had offers in hand before NFL training camps began, but he was waiting for the “right opportunity” before signing. The Eagles had Maclin on their radar at one point, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll still have interest after turning back the clock with Jordan Matthews.

Maclin, 30, was a dynamic deep threat for the Eagles as he averaged nearly 1,000 receiving yards per season in Philadelphia, including a 1,300+ yard showing in 2014. He topped 1,000 yards in his first season with the Chiefs in 2015, but his production fell off over the last two years. Between those campaigns with the Chiefs and Ravens, Maclin played in just 24 total games and averaged only 42 receptions, 488 yards, and 2.5 touchdowns per year.

The veteran could find employment once he hits the workout circuit, though he’ll probably have to settle for something close to the league minimum.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jeremy Maclin Intends To Play In 2018

Veteran wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is still a few weeks away from full recovery after tweaking his hamstring during a training session, but he still hopes to play in 2018, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Maclin reportedly had offers in hand prior to training camps getting underway, per Schefter, but was waiting for the “right opportunity” before signing. Whether that means Maclin is searching for a larger contract or more playing time is unclear, but the only club to have expressed reported interest in Maclin was the Eagles, who had Maclin on their radar at one point.

Maclin, 30, was once a perennial threat to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns, but his production has dwindled in recent seasons. From 2016-17 (which he split between Kansas City and Baltimore), Maclin played in just 24 total games and averaged only 42 receptions, 488 yards, and 2.5 touchdowns per year. Last season, Maclin ranked as a bottom-10 receiver in Football Outsiders’ DYAR and DVOA, meaning he was ineffective both overall and on a per-play basis.

At this stage of his career, it’s difficult to imagine Maclin garnering anything other than a one-year deal near the minimum salary. Given that he won’t be fully healthy until after the regular season begins, teams won’t have to worry about Maclin’s salary becoming guaranteed in Week 1 (as it would have had he made an opening roster as a vested veteran).

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Colts Not Currently Interested In Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin

While they don’t have much depth at wide receiver (especially after losing promising rookie Deon Cain to a torn ACL), the Colts are not currently interested in adding a veteran pass-catcher such as Dez Bryant or Jeremy Maclin, general manager Chris Ballard told Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk’s podcast (link via Andrew Walker of Colts.com).

“Good players, without question,” Ballard said. “Right now internally we’re just gonna continue to work with this young group we have, and continue to go down the preseason path.”

The Colts project to deploy T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant, and Chester Rogers as their top three receivers, but the depth chart following that trifecta is relatively barren. Fifth-round pick Daurice Fountain could conceivably log playing time, as could a cavalcade of other options including K.J. Brent, Kasen Williams, Seantavius Jones, James Wright, Matt Hazel, and Zach Pascal, among others.

Bryant, for his part, has drawn limited interest since being released by the Cowboys earlier this year. His recent dalliance with the Browns doesn’t appear to be heading for an accord, and he’s reportedly “not on the front burner” in Cleveland. Maclin, meanwhile, was on the Eagles’ radar at one point, but no official meeting ever took place.

Ballard did not completely rule out signing Bryant or Maclin at some point down the road, admitting each would be “on the list” of free agent receivers the Colts would call if more depth is required.

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The Best Remaining NFL Free Agents

There are still plenty of impact free agents left on the board, including some big names. Here’s a look at some of the high-profile veterans that are still looking for work in advance of training camp: 

Kaepernick probably stands as the most talented quarterback left on the open market, but his ongoing collusion case against the NFL complicated matters. It seems unlikely that he’ll land anywhere between now and the start of the season, but friend and former teammate Eric Reid probably has a better chance of signing somewhere, despite being in a similar boat. Recently, the duo was spotted working out together in California.

It seems like just yesterday that Murray was the league’s most fearsome running back. Unfortunately, Murray’s age has caught up to him to some extent and he was overshadowed last year in Tennessee by the younger Derrick HenryThe Titans dropped Murray in March and he has not found a new NFL home despite meeting with the LionsSeahawks, and Dolphins since his release. Recently, the Saints tried to include Murray in their cattle call for running backs, but he declined the invite.

Peterson has lobbied the Texans, Saints, Packers, Panthers, Dolphins, and Rams to sign him, but we have yet to hear of any reciprocated interest from those clubs. It’s possible that Murray and Peterson won’t sign unless a running back injury opens up an opportunity for them. Teams could also steer clear of Peterson altogether given his desire for a starring role despite his lack of star performance over the last two years.

Bryant is the biggest name on this list, but we shouldn’t expect to see him sign anywhere until July. There have been conflicting reports on his market, but the latest word indicates that he is receiving interest, despite concerns about his demeanor in the locker room.

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This Date In Transactions History: Jeremy Maclin

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.

The Best Remaining NFL Free Agents

The biggest names in this year’s free agent class such as Kirk Cousins, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, and Trumaine Johnson have long been spoken for, but plenty of notable players remain on the board here in June. With a hat tip to James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter), here’s a look at some high-profile veterans who are still seeking work this summer: 

Of course, Kaepernick’s situation is more complicated than the rest. Lately, the only updates we’ve heard regarding Kaepernick have been tied to his pending collusion case against the NFL. Former teammate Reid is certainly closer to the NFL radar after an April meeting with the Bengals, but he also believes teams are shying away from him due to his participation in anthem protests. Reid filed a grievance of his own against the NFL in May and has been spotted working out with Kaepernick.

Unfortunately for Murray and Peterson, filing a grievance for age bias against running backs is not an option. The Titans kicked Murray to the curb in March and he has not found a new NFL home despite meeting with the Lions, Seahawks, and Dolphins since his release. Peterson has lobbied the Texans, Saints, Packers, Panthers, Dolphins, and Rams to sign him, but we have yet to hear of any reciprocated interest from those clubs. Given Peterson’s reluctance to be on the lower end of a timeshare in New Orleans last year, one has to imagine that Peterson will not be a real consideration for teams unless a starter gets injured in camp. Murray could be a more attractive option for teams. Although he averaged just 3.6 yards per tote with the Titans last year, he contributed in the passing game with 39 receptions.

Bryant says he has no regrets about turning down a three-year, $21MM offer from the Ravens, but right now it looks like he blew his opportunity at a solid free agent deal. Reportedly, many teams are unwilling to consider him for even the league minimum, so it seems unlikely that he’ll find the lucrative one-year contract he’s seeking. On the plus side, his former employer says multiple teams have checked in on him.

Things have been eerily quiet for Maclin after he was displaced by the Ravens, though the Eagles and Cowboys considered him internally in the spring. We also haven’t heard a peep about Decker since his spring meetings with the Raiders and Ravens. Both players are roughly in the same boat – they were 1,000-yard receivers in 2015, but they are on the wrong side of 30 and haven’t done much on the field in the last two years. Still, both profile as low-risk/high-reward signings.

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