Some Good, Some Bad When it Comes to Maclin in Cleveland

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Updated: June 5, 2017

In a surprise move Friday night, the Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin. This will save them from a salary cap hit of $10 million and makes Maclin the best free agent now available. The veteran is coming off a disappointing 2016 campaign in which he was hindered by a groin injury that caused him to miss four games. Although he wasn’t as productive as wanted, he is still a great receiver who should have no trouble finding a suitor for his services.

A short list of teams that need help at the position is as follows: San Francisco, Detroit, Buffalo, Baltimore and Cleveland.

The Cleveland Browns should consider giving Maclin a chance for many reasons including lack of depth. Last year, Terrelle Pryor led the team in all major categories like receptions (77), yards (1,007) and touchdowns (4). Unfortunately, Pryor couldn’t agree to a deal with the Browns and left to sign a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins. His absence creates a huge hole and desperate need for Cleveland. Pryor’s lack of experience was overlooked because of his talent and production. This is what needs to be replaced and Maclin fits the mold.

Prior to 2016, Maclin registered back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with two different teams (KC and Philadelphia). His final year with the Eagles was a career year with 85 catches resulting in 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not to mention his quarterbacks were Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez. This production (and tampering) earned him a five-year contract worth $55 million with the Chiefs. The wide out handed in another 1,000-yard season with Alex Smith. Smith is a great quarterback, but he isn’t known for his deep ball. The year Maclin broke the century mark, Smith averaged 11.4 yards per completion and 10.7 last season. Cody Kessler averaged 10.8 yards in eight starts with the Browns. Point being is that Maclin doesn’t need a strong arm quarterback to be productive.

The 29-year-old possesses good speed and can line up outside or in the slot giving Cleveland multiple options in three wide receiver sets. Also, he is a proven veteran unlike the rest of the Browns. Minus Kenny Britt, most of the current wide outs listed on the roster have two years of experience or less. Maclin would bring some much-needed experience to the team.

However, there are some questions surrounding Maclin about long term health. He has only played a full 16 game season just twice in his eight-year career and a career low 12 games last year. In addition to health concerns, is he willing to take a pay cut? He was due at least $9.75 million in each of the next three years and Kansas City decided to release him. Cleveland won’t pay him $10 million a pop so he would have to consider taking less money, but the Browns should definitely give Maclin a look.

Max Gold is a Senior Writer for Cleveland Sports Talk 

Follow him – @CST_Max_Gold

Photo: NFL.com

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