The NFL world was shocked yesterday when the Kansas City Chiefs released former Pro Bowl wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin. Maclin had left the Philadelphia Eagles to join the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, inking a tremendous five-year $55 million contract. It all started great for the Chiefs and Maclin. In 2015 Maclin had recorded his second career 1,000-yard receiving season, and the Chiefs went to the playoffs. However, in 2016, Maclin, troubled by injuries, was only able to grab 44 receptions for 536 yards. This season was not up to par with Maclin’s expectations, and the Chiefs stunned all by releasing him yesterday. The move is mind boggling until one realizes that the Chiefs are going to save a considerable amount of money on the salary cap, $10 million to be exact. This unexpected move by the Chiefs seemingly coincides with the Ravens losing one of their top pass catchers to a major injury Friday at OTAs. Dennis Pitta re-injured his hip, by dislocating it a third time. Pitta’s career may be over, as he is now reportedly considering retirement. With a drought of receiving talent, the Ravens are likely seeking a new weapon for Joe Flacco and the offense to utilize. This weapon could be Jeremy Maclin, but will the speculation become an actuality?
Jeremy Maclin will be looking for a team that can provide two things in order for him to sign. First, Maclin will want a team that he will fit well on, and be able to contribute immediately. The Ravens obviously fill this requirement. Baltimore is in dire need of a playmaking pass catcher, as the only reliable receiver on the team is Mike Wallace, who has only been with the team one year. Not only would Maclin be a contributor to the offense immediately, he would also join a competitive team, with a superb coaching staff, and in the playoff hunt almost every season. The Ravens have already won a Super Bowl under John Harbaugh, and the mere thought of obtaining a Super Bowl ring should entertain him. This gives Baltimore a nice edge over other potential suitors of Maclin, including the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers.
The second thing Maclin will likely want to have in order to agree to terms with the team would be a substantial salary. In Kansas City, he was making an average of $11 million per year before having his contract terminated. This is where the theory of Maclin moving to Baltimore runs into some trouble. The Ravens currently have a very strained amount of money they can use under the salary cap. According to russelstreetreport.com, the Ravens have an estimated $4.3 million in allocatable funds. This is a major problem for the Ravens’ front office if they seek to bring in Maclin. Either the Ravens will have to make some salary cap opening moves by cutting some players, or any other shifty maneuvers Ozzie Newsome can think of, or Maclin will have to take a substantial pay cut. The most realistic option would be Maclin taking a pay cut in his base salary, with a promise of a raise if he proves to be the answer to the Ravens’ receiver woes. The Ravens could end up paying him $4 million this year but increase it to a number similar to what he received in Kansas City over the course of the next few seasons. Maclin did have some injury problems in Kansas City, and the Ravens could cite this as a reason they are not able to pay him as much as other teams might offer.
Overall, there is a decent chance that Maclin will indeed join the Baltimore Ravens for the 2017 campaign. The Ravens are an organization built on success and are competitive almost every season. Maclin will have a realistic chance at a Super Bowl ring by joining, as the Ravens have a franchise quarterback (who already won a Super Bowl), a great coaching staff, and a defense that is presumably going to be a top unit in the league. The only set back for the possibility of Maclin joining the team would be the current state of the salary cap, and the maximum amount of money the Ravens could pay him. It would be substantially less than the amount he received in Kansas City. However, the Ravens could try to get him to accept less money now, with the promise of a raise if he becomes a leading part of the Ravens offense. The Ravens need another playmaking the receiver, and Jeremy Maclin could be that receiver.