In a surprising move, the Kansas City Chiefs released former Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin last week. The eight-year vet is coming off his worst season as a pro, putting up career lows in just about every statistical category. This, coupled with the emergence of Tyreek Hill seems to be enough for Chiefs coach Andy Reid to move on from the former pro-bowler.
In recent days, rumors involving Maclin began to swirl. Names that continue to pop up are the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills. However, Maclin, a fan favorite, and the Eagles were rumored to be interested in a reunion. Coach Pederson, however, has come out and thwarted those reports, stating that they have no interest “at this time”.
This wouldn’t be the first time that an ex-Eagle found his way back to the nest. Former starting QB Nick Foles made his return to the birds earlier this offseason. Oddly enough, he returned after getting cut by the very same Chiefs.
Maclin back in midnight green would be a cool story.. for about a day. But would he really add to the Eagles in 2017? From a financial and roster perspective, the move seems silly.
Financially, the dollars don’t make sense. As things currently stand, the Eagles have limited cap space ($2M). I would imagine that Maclin would command at least that, especially if the Bills and/or Ravens get involved and a bidding war ensues.
From a roster standpoint, the move makes even less sense. The Eagles spent a lot of capital (two draft picks, $17M this year) to sure up an atrocious wide receiver corps. Assuming that free agent signings Alshon Jeffrey, and Torrey Smith make the roster along with incumbent Jordan Mathews and rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson (4th and 5th round, respectively), that would leave Maclin fighting for a 6th roster spot with Nelson Agholor and Doriel Green-Beckham. And this is operating under the assumption that the Eagles go into 2017 carrying six wide receivers (Pederson had five on his roster to open 2016).
Sure, to see Maclin back in Philly would be a feel-good story heading into mini-camps and beyond. I’ll be the first to admit, after seeing Maclin was released, I hoped (and assumed) the Eagles would jump on him. But this is a business, and nostalgia shouldn’t play a part in roster moves; if the move doesn’t help the team, it can’t be forced; which is something Pederson likely realized as he kicked the tires on the 29-year-old receiver.
Sorry Eagles fans. A good story doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. But something tells me the receivers will be just fine.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know on Twitter @ZachBonanno