Ravens release Jeremy Maclin

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.

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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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Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin signs two-year deal with Ravens

If you’re a Baltimore sports fan, this past weekend was not the most enjoyable.  The Orioles were swept by the Yankees and the Ravens were waiting on the edge of their seat to hear if they had landed a deal with Jeremy Maclin.

Some good news finally came on Monday as Maclin announced he had signed a two-year deal with the Ravens. Maclin received interest from multiple teams, but only the Ravens and the Buffalo Bills made serious efforts to sign him over the past few weeks.

Early last week, the receiver visited the Buffalo Bills organization before heading to Owings Mills to visit the Ravens. Many fans became worried that Maclin was more interested in Buffalo since he spent an extra day with them, and he has former teammates in the organization. Despite all of that, Maclin made his visit to Baltimore and multiple sources reported that the meeting went very well.

If there was one thing keeping fans’ hopes alive, it’s the Ravens track record with free agents. Baltimore’s free agency recruiting has become notorious in the past few seasons after landing deals with players like Steve Smith, Eric Weddle, Mike Wallace, and Tony Jefferson. It came as no surprise that all of these players helped recruit Maclin just as much as Ozzie Newsome and the front office.

Baltimore had many needs coming into this offseason and were able to address a handful of them in the early stages of free agency as well as the draft. However, the wide receiver position remained neglected. With Dennis Pitta going down with another hip injury last week, the Ravens were even more desperate for a reliable receiver as the season approaches.

It appears that they have gotten just that and possibly much more with Maclin. In seven seasons in the NFL, Maclin has accumulated 46 touchdowns and 6395 yards while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. The 29-year-old veteran has played with a handful of quarterbacks in his career, but it should be safe to say that Joe Flacco will be the one with the strongest arm and definitely the one with the most postseason success.

Maclin joins a receiving core with very few notable names. Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are the only two standouts, so Maclin’s presence is very exciting for fans.  In addition to reporting the Maclin signing, a few writers noted that the Ravens could still be interested in pursuing a trade with the New York Jets for Eric Decker. Former Raven Anquan Boldin has also had his name thrown around in the free agency conversation.

One thing that needs to be said is that this receiving core is still average at best. Maclin does not do anything to fix the lack of depth and there is still a level of uncertainty when it comes to the tight ends. This is definitely great news, but the Ravens would be wise to keep their eyes on the wide receiver market.