Posted on June 5, 2017, by Travis Pulver
The Kansas City Chiefs have caused a bit of a stir in the NFL with the recent release of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Typically, the only guys available are older, injury-prone ones no one wants to waste money on or guys that simply are not very good. Maclin isn’t young, but he certainly isn’t old. He isn’t injury-prone either.
No, Maclin is a rarity for this time of year—a veteran wide receiver that is still pretty good.
Buffalo Bills running backs LeSean McCoy and quarterback Tyrod Taylor have openly campaigned for Maclin to be added to their roster. Supposedly, preliminary talks between the Bills and Maclin have begun.
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While he could be a valuable addition to the Bills offense, there is one that needs him much, much more—the Baltimore Ravens.
Like many teams in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens have become dependent on the passing game. Last season, their offense was 17th overall; 12th in the passing game and just 28th in the run game. To aid the running game, they only added Danny Woodhead to the roster. But to aid the passing game, they added no one.
In fact, they lost a lot of key personnel. Steve Smith retired. Kamar Aiken has signed with the Indianapolis Colts and Kyle Juszczyk has signed with the San Francisco 49ers. With tight end Dennis Pitta likely lost due to another hip injury, the Ravens have lost four of their top six receivers from 2016. They accounted for 50 percent of Joe Flacco’s completions and 48 percent of his passing yards.
They didn’t draft any help, and they haven’t brought any in via free agency (except for Danny Woodhead). So, either the Ravens are counting on a lot of guys to step up, or they are looking to tank next season so they can get a better position in the draft.
The Ravens likely are hoping Breshad Perriman can step up and help fill the void. It wouldn’t be a bad time for Maxx Williams to step up and prove he was worth a second-round pick (from 2015). But even if they do, the Ravens are very thin at receiver. If they can afford Maclin, it would be a great idea to bring him in.
That way, the pressure to perform is taken off Baltimore’s younger players. Hopefully, they still will, but the team will not stink if they don’t. That is if they can reel Maclin in.
The competition could end up getting pretty stiff for Maclin’s services. There are plenty of teams that could use a veteran wide receiver of Maclin’s caliber. With Alshon Jeffrey moving on, the Chicago Bears will be counting on Kevin White to stay healthy and finally live up to his potential. The Cleveland Browns have Corey Coleman—and that’s about it. The New York Jets could use a reliable target for whoever ends up being their quarterback. San Francisco has signed some talent, but it wouldn’t hurt to give Brian Hoyer a target he can count on.
At this point in the off-season, where Maclin lands will likely rely on who has enough cap space remaining (or can find it) to give him a deal he’ll be happy with signing. The oddsmakers like the Ravens so far (+175). But only time will tell if the Baltimore front office will go after him or not.