Making personal sense of Jeremy Maclin’s release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 30: Jeremy Maclin /

Staff writer Chris Taylor tries to make personal sense of Jeremy Maclin’s release and remains positive about the team’s direction.

“The Chiefs released Maclin.”  Those words did not resonate quickly with me. My wife heard the news before I did. I made her repeat herself several times before I actually requested proof.

Later that evening she asks me if I am upset that the Kansas City Chiefs released not only a proven veteran, but our number one wide receiver. Even as I write this, I still do not know.

The first question everyone has asked is, “Why?” Why would they release Jeremy Maclin now and not earlier in the offseason when there were really good replacements available through free agency? Why?

No. 19 became a fan favorite before playing a snap. He was the first big name receiver acquired by the Chiefs in quite some time. Obviously this news has not settled well with Chiefs Kingdom. I even came across a comment on Facebook where a fan of 40 years would no longer root for Maclin’s former team. Seems a bit extreme to me.

To answer the question of why, and to make sense of this situation, personal feelings need to be absent. Perhaps personnel feelings need to be vacant as well?

The Chiefs receiving group is scary, not in “The Greatest Show on Turf” type of scary, but your  grandmother’s attic type of scary. You want to go up there because of the slim chance you might find a hidden gem, but the fear of finding nothing of value, and even worse, the ghosts, makes you want to move on to different, newer attics.

Of course, Tyreek Hill is the exception. If you say his name ten times in a row, you suddenly feel better about all of this. There are times that Chris Conley and Albert Wilson look like potential standouts. There are also times when you forget they are on the team.

Hidden gems might be found in De’Anthony Thomas, Demarcus Robinson, Seantavius Jones, and rookie Jehu Chesson. Chances are a player of Maclin’s caliber will not be finding themselves on the open market. So does an Anquan Boldin or Devin Hester have enough to draw the attention of defenses? (I have this lineup of Hill, Thomas, and Hester stuck in my head.)

The ifs are bountiful. The Chiefs do have some cap room now that Maclin no longer has a contract. Enough to apparently pay their rookies and make an addition or two if they choose.

Knee-jerk reactions cause us to think Andy Reid and John Dorsey have no clue how to do their jobs. Of course they do. That’s why we watch the game, and they manage and coach the game. You aren’t alone in having doomsday thoughts for the upcoming season. I have had these thoughts as well.

Do not forget that when Gronk is hurt, we have the best tight end in football, Travis Kelce. We also have an offensive line that is getting better and better. The Chiefs still have a dynamic backfield, with Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and rookie Kareem Hunt. Throw in a very dangerous defense to compliment, and a special teams squad worth mentioning, and things look well.

Time still exists in the offseason. Many more moves will come across the NFL’s transactions wire through trades, free agency, and the possible emergence of a wide receiver already dawning a Chiefs uniform. Things are not as gloomy as we want to try to make them.

Chris Conley is not a No. 1 receiver, nor is he a No. 2, but he could develop into either one. Albert Wilson has become a spot receiver at most. Besides those two wide outs and Tyreek Hill, there is no real game experience left on the depth chart.

The roster we see now is not the roster we will see in New England in September. The shift of personnel has been revealing itself to us for a while now. The Chiefs will continue to be a force, with new players, new schemes, and skill sets.

Jeremy Maclin will be missed. The fans are making sure we do not forget him. Is it the end of an era in Kansas City? No, not even close. If the Chiefs fail to make any major additions on either side of the ball, then an article full of redacted statements shall follow in the coming months.

The Chiefs will be fine. These are times of change, and times are changing. For the time being, I will trust Chiefs brass that they have a plan in store. They know their team. Perhaps better than we do as fans.

I for one am still looking forward to an amazing year in K.C. The next few seasons have everything we want coming as sports fans.