The big story in the NFL this week is the Kansas City Chiefs releasing the former All-Pro wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who posted the worst numbers of his career last season with 536 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This drastic drop in production is due to the fact that Maclin is a downfield threat, and quarterback Alex Smith is among the worst downfield passers in the league, throwing the ball 20+ yards on less than 3% of plays. Smith also posted the third lowest Air Yards per attempt for a starting quarterback in 2016, with an extremely low 3.23 yards per attempt. Air Yards is calculated by taking total passing yards and subtracting Yards After Catch. This gives you the exact distance the quarterback threw the ball on an average passing play, and this stat proves Alex Smith is the king of 3-yard dump passes.
This is the worst possible scenario for a receiver like Maclin
Jeremy was due to make $10 million this season and the Chiefs will divide this dead cap space between this season ($2.4 million) and next ($4.8 million). The 29-year-old receiver is far from retirement, and will surely sign a lucrative contract to regain his status as a premier wide receiver in the National Football League.
There are many great fits for this athletic playmaker, but at this stage of the offseason, only a handful of teams have the available funds to make a deal. Here are the two teams most likely to sign this speedy receiver.
I hate to see a great player go to the worst team in the league, but the Cleveland Browns have $60 million in cap space and no big-name receiver on the roster.
This offseason the Browns traded for last year’s biggest free agency bust, Brock Osweiler, for additional draft picks not intending to keep the inconsistent quarterback. Osweiler has since impressed the organization and he will stay on the roster to compete for the starting role.
If they want to give Osweiler a fair shot, they should sign Jeremy Maclin to a receiving corps that currently consists of Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman, and half a dozen guys you’ve never heard of.
This team was bad last year, but Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown have collected drafts picks and will be dangerous in a few years. This isn’t the worst place for Maclin to play, and he can sign the contract he deserves.
Maclin’s more favorable option would be to sign with the Tennessee Titans who have more than $46 million in cap space.
This is the only playoff caliber team that has the resources to make a serious offer.
The Titans invested the 5th overall pick in the draft on Corey Davis, who was a standout receiver at Western Michigan. There is no better veteran receiver in the league to mentor Davis, then Maclin. Jeremy’s most important role for the Chiefs was being a leader and mentor for the 12 receivers in the organization who have all played in the league for less than 3 seasons.
Other than Davis, the Titans only noteworthy receivers are Rishard Matthews, who put together the best year of his career last season, and Harry Douglass who hasn’t been relevant since 2013.
The Titans finished one place out of the playoffs last season, and this would be a win-now signing for the organization.