OWINGS MILLS, MD — Less than a day after signing two free agent wide receivers in the forms of John Brown and Ryan Grant, the Baltimore Ravens released veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin after just one season with the team. The move creates $5 million in cap space for the Ravens.
Following the retirement of Steve Smith Sr. and the departure of Kamar Aiken, the Ravens signed Maclin to a two-year deal worth up to $11 million last summer. This occurred after the Kansas City Chiefs cut Maclin following a season hindered by a lingering groin injury. Maclin’s injury problems continued in Baltimore, as he dealt with ailments to his back, shoulder, and knee. Maclin’s 2017 season saw him finish with career-lows in receptions (40) and receiving yards (440) in 12 games.
The entire Maclin experiment in Baltimore can only be described as a disaster. Not only was he beat up all season, but he never got to establish a repertoire with Joe Flacco as the quarterback missed all of training camp with a herniated disk in his back. There was some thought that Maclin’s previous experience in a Marty Mornhinweg-led offense would bode well, but Maclin never clicked on or off the field for the Ravens.
Since the 2017 season ended, rumors have been swirling about Maclin’s release. After the Ravens’ front office gave their receiving corps two veteran names who both held better stats than Maclin did last season, the Ravens now appear comfortable letting Maclin go. After two injury-riddled seasons and appearing to not mesh with the Ravens’ locker room, paying Maclin $5 million in 2018 made no sense.
The Ravens still have work to do at the wide receiver position. Brown is very injury-prone and a #2 receiver at-best, and Grant has never been anything more than a #3 wideout. Chris Moore is certainly not a elite wide receiver, and Breshad Perriman may not even make the 2018 roster. At 33, Jordy Nelson fits the mold of several veteran wideouts the Ravens have signed in the past, but his price tag will not be cheap. No matter if the Ravens sign another wide receiver or not, drafting at least two wideouts should still be a top priority.
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