The Kansas City Chiefs have released their #1 wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin. Head Coach Andy Reid released this statement, from the mothership:
“These decisions are never easy, especially with a player like Jeremy who I’ve grown close with on and off the football field over the years. I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business and how he handles himself as a professional. I wish him the best of luck moving forward.” ~Andy Reid
Parting with Jeremy Maclin may be seen as a cap move but Maclin also had a down season in 2016 so his departure could be signaling more than that.
When WR Demarcus Robinson came to the Chiefs a year ago as a 4th round pick, some thought that if not for his off-field issues (three drug test faliures) then he was a first or second round talent. Reid found a place on specail teams for him to essentially give him a trial run and now it appears the door is wide open for him to grab a starting position. Robinson came out of college with an excellent ability to create yards after the catch. His performance as a gunner on speacial teams (one of the players pslit wide who must make a move to escape double-coverage blockers and be the first to get down field and set an edge forcing the punt returner inside) allows the Chiefs to consider moving him up the depth chart ladder. If not for Robinson, this release of Jeremy Maclin may not have been possible.
Last offseason I projected 6-foot-3 inch WR Chris Conley for a breakout season. That never materialized but his successes revealed a WR who has plenty of untapped talent. The question now is, will Tyreek Hil or Chris Conley take over the role of #1 WR?
One point of view worth considering is… the postseason evaluation that JARD — John-Andy-Reid-Dorsey — did revealed that they may be planning for the future… more than they are leading on. With the exception of third-round pick, RB Kareem Hunt, I’m unsure of any draft pick this year getting starting minutes in 2017. First-round gem, QB Patrick Mahomes, will most likely run the scout offense (the job of playing the way the competition plays in the coming week). Second-round pick Tanoh Kpassnagnon may get rotatoion minutes on the defensive line and Jhu Chesson, a fourth-round pick, will likely be realigated to special teams and take over Robinson’s role. Fifth-round linebacker Ukeme Eligwe has future written all over his resume.
Maclin’s stats have been pedestrian when you average in his poor 2016 numbers.
Maclin’s #Chiefs stats:
27 games played
— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) June 3, 2017
You can be sure that 60 yards per game is not what Andy Reid and John Dorsey thought they were getting when they signed Jeremy Maclin two years ago and essentially replaced #1WR Dwayne Bowe with JMac. However, Reid’s West Coast version doesn’t really call for a #1WR who gains 1,000 plus yards each year. From the time Terrell Owens left the Philadelphia in 2004 until Reid’s last season there in 2012, the Eagles have only had 4 wide receivers who had more than 1,000 yards in a single season.
By parting ways with the 6-foot-0 Maclin, if the Chiefs move Chris Conley into the #1WR spot, it may be a move to taller targets for QB Alex Smith (and eventually Patrick Mahomes). While the height of the WRs is certainly not the number one reason for the Maclin move, it was reported just a week ago that the extra height of the WRs that the Chiefs had in camp could be a sign of things to come as Patrick Mahomes begins to take over… with the idea that he will be provided some larger wideout targets who can go up and get the ball because he’s more of a downfield threat as a passer.
There’s a risk-reward analysis that must be a part of this decision. Jeremy Maclin has had three great games in a Chiefs uniform and all of them were in 2015: 160 receiving yards vs Buffalo, 148 yards vs Cincinnatti, and 141 yards vs Green Bay. Those three games were the only games in which he had more than 100 yards receiving and he offered little in the way of production in the Chiefs playoff games — 80 total yards in three games — when big players are supposed to step up and make big plays. What we thought Jeremy Maclin would be… a game changer — he was not. My friend over at ArrowheadAddict probably typifies the release of Jeremy Maclin best:
This is a move that could be super smart or a complete disaster.
— Lyle Graversen (@LyleGraversen) June 3, 2017
A wider base of Chiefs fans will be sad to see Malcin go because he’s a bit of a local product having gone to Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri in the St. Louis area then starred for the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Some cap numbers to know:
- K.C. had $3.5M cap space prior to the release of JMac
- Because his release came after June 1, they save $10M
- Mac will create $2.4M in Dead Monei in 2017
- $4.8M in Dead Money in 2018
- K.C. is still $0.638M over projected cap for 2018.
The biggest question I have about this move is a financial one. When more money is needed becasue a team is up against the cap, like many other decisions, it becomes an either/or situtation. So, I’d like to know what the “either/or” was? Was it either Maclin or Colquitt? Colquitt would save $4.9M and $0.8M in Dead Money. Was it either Maclin or Jah Reid? JReid costs $3.56M in 2017 and $1.55 in Dead Money. Who exactly was their other choice? When viewing this decision through those glasses, its’ hard to see why Maclin would be the Tasters Choice. I guess I better go get my cup of morning “covfefe”… I think the lack of caffeine is having an affect on my brain.
In case you don’t live in the Kansas City area and didn’t get a chance to watch the local news, here’s a report from KCTV-5:
— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) June 3, 2017
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