Jeremy Maclin For Hire
The month of June has started off with a bang in the NFL. Not only did Friday bring the news that Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta will be lost for the season due to a hip injury, but the Kansas City Chiefs also surprised the football world by releasing WR Jeremy Maclin. It’s a surprising move because of the lack of depth the Chiefs have on the team at the wide receiver position. Tyreek Hill will now step up into a wide receiver one role with Chris Conley likely to secure the WR2 spot with little competition behind him.
There were reports that the Chiefs couldn’t get much going in trade talks with other NFL teams, which is likely due to his heavy price tag. There is also a chance that the Chiefs know something about Maclin that the general public doesn’t. It seems odd that they would rather add $7 million to their cap in dead money over the next two seasons than start a wide receiver on a team that is lacking depth at the position. According to the Kansas City Star, Maclin, who just turned 29 years old, “looked spry” in OTA practices as he ran with the first-team offense prior to his release.
Jeremy Maclin Career Stats
The fact that Maclin is no longer under contract is a game changer in terms of fantasy value. If you own Maclin in a dynasty league, here’s hoping he lands on a team that brings you some good production. Re-draft league owners will have the advantage of knowing where Maclin is by the time their draft rolls around. The following are my predictions to where he might land.
5. Los Angeles Rams
4. San Francisco 49ers
This would definitely step on the Pierre Garcon love that is building up in some circles, but Maclin could thrive in the Bay with coach Kyle Shanahan. The defense looks like it will struggle again which means the 49ers will most likely be behind on the scoreboard often. QB Brian Hoyer isn’t going to light the world on fire, but he is serviceable. There is very little to latch onto in the WR corps beyond Garcon. Shanahan is an excellent offensive mind and could use another weapon. This landing spot takes a bit of a hit because Garcon isn’t a true number one and I think Maclin needs that to hit his ceiling.
3. Seattle Seahawks
We’re going to stick out on the West Coast because I believe Seattle could be a great spot for Maclin. There’s a clear alpha in place with Doug Baldwin. The one thing the Seahawks have lacked for some time is a legitimate second WR. Tyler Lockett had an up and down 2016 season before suffering a gruesome leg injury. Lockett should have a great future provide his leg heals properly. Still, Seattle could use Maclin as a bridge to give Lockett plenty of time to recover. The Seahawks are a Super Bowl contender, and Maclin could help them get back there this season.
2. Baltimore Ravens
I’m not totally sure what to make of the Ravens and their plan on offense. They bring in RB Danny Woodhead, who isn’t exactly the most durable guy out there. The aforementioned Dennis Pitta was always a massive injury risk (also, Ben Watson is super sneaky if you happen to be drafting now). Baltimore has WR’s Mike Wallace and the wildly unproven Breshad Perriman. Maclin could see the target volume that he saw in 2014 because the Ravens have led the NFL in pass attempts in the past two seasons. Even if the Ravens drop by 80-100 pass attempts, that’s still 550+ targets to go around. Maclin would see plenty of those targets.
I’ve hit on the fact that Maclin could be best suited for a number two role and I believe Dallas would be a solid landing spot for him in 2017. He’d have Dez Bryant to take the coverage off of him and Cole Beasley to work the slot. Second year QB Dak Prescott showed he was ready for primetime after Tony Romo got hurt in the preseason. It also never hurts to give a QB a shiny new toy. With last year’s best offensive line in the NFL and RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the charge, this offense could reach new heights with a good number two WR. Sure, Dallas will not be slinging the ball all over. They bleed the clock and lean on the run. Even with those traits, Maclin could see 60-ish receptions for close to 900 yards and around 6 TDs wearing the Cowboy uniform.
I fully believe that Maclin could be an excellent fantasy asset in the right spot. Last season seemed like an anomaly given his career track record and the fact he is still under 30. Barring any unknown facts, some team could potentially get a very solid player and fantasy owners could be very excited in the coming days.