A few years back, the Kansas City Chiefs had an anomaly of a season. They went all 16 games in 2014 without a touchdown reception by a wide receiver. They addressed that by signing Philadelphia Eagles free agent WR Jeremy Maclin to a five-year $55 million dollar contract.
He was their top receiver in 2015, with 87 receptions and 8 touchdowns. He was well liked by the team and coaching staff. Not long ago he got married, and head coach Andy Reid was in attendance. As I was driving on Friday morning listening to the NFL Network, a fan called in and asked which wide receiver would step up to be the number two behind Maclin.
Then Friday afternoon came and the Chiefs announced that they had released Maclin. The move frees up $10 million in cap space.
Maclin responded to the move on twitter:
The player with the second-most receptions on the team last year was Tyreek Hill, but the team is hesitant to use him as a full-time receiver. He's a return man and carries in the rushing game, as well. After that is third-year player Chris Conley, who caught zero touchdowns last season. Of the seven wide receivers on the roster now, they collectively have 251 receptions and 12 touchdowns.
Maclin alone has 474 catches and 46 touchdowns. The 29-year old Maclin is now a free agent and will likely be snatched up by a receiver-needy team that can afford him.
As for the Chiefs and their fans, the lessons learned in 2014 seem to have been forgotten. But at least they have that extra $10 million…maybe they can sign an experienced wide receiver.