Jeremy Maclin released by Kansas City Chiefs

Late release comes as surprise to former no. 1 wide receiver

Aug 28, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) is tackled by Tennessee Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (24) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced they are parting ways with veteran wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. It is believed that this is a financial transaction by the Chiefs, as this release will save the team $10 million in salary cap space, which was desperately needed as they were only $3.5 million away from the cap prior to this move. Andy Reid, head coach of the Chiefs and former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, where he first coached Maclin, expressed his mixed feelings on the move: “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.” As for Maclin, he seemed surprised when he wrote on Twitter, “Crazy business this is.” He also expressed his appreciation for the Chiefs fandom in the tweet.

Maclin, who is 29 years old and has dealt with nagging injuries in the past two seasons, signed a massive five-year contract with the Chiefs in 2015 worth $55 million. Kansas City even had to forfeit a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft for making contact with Maclin before the league mandated free agency period. Considering all they gave up for Maclin, he was expected to be their clear cut number one wide receiver. In 2015, it looked like the move paid off, as Maclin recorded 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns that season. However, in the 2016 season, returner Tyreek Hill shone as a rookie, and this move may indicate that the Chiefs feel comfortable using him more often as a receiver. The Chiefs also have a stable of other young receivers, such as Chris Conley and De’Anthony Thomas, who have shown steady improvement over the past couple of seasons. Of course, tight end Travis Kelce was already impressive in this offense, and may be asked to handle a slightly larger load in the passing game with Maclin’s departure.

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