Jeremy Maclin signs with Baltimore Ravens

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Casey Hayward
SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Casey Hayward /

The free agent tour is over for Jeremy Maclin, who has announced his decision to sign with the Baltimore Ravens.

Less than two weeks after the Kansas City Chiefs made Jeremy Maclin an unexpected free agent, the wide receiver has decided upon his new home with the Baltimore Ravens. Maclin took a tour of both the Bills and Ravens last week as the two emerged as the primary suitors for the veteran wideout and ultimately Maclin decided to go with Baltimore after spending time with each franchise.

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Maclin immediately climbed to the top of free agent rankings after his release given his well-rounded ability. Despite fighting through injuries last year, Maclin remains a dependable pass catcher who can be a 100-plus target player for a team who can run the entire route tree. He’s fast enough to lift the lid on a secondary and sharp enough to create separation underneath. He’s also a well-respected player on and off the field who served as a team leader for the Chiefs in the locker room.

Unfortunately for K.C., the team found itself up against the salary cap with half of its rookie class still yet to be signed. Releasing Maclin created the necessary cap space as well as some breathing room in case of an emergency during the season. The Chiefs will now roll with Tyreek Hill as their top wideout in the Z role in Andy Reid’s offense while hoping that Chris Conley, DeMarcus Robinson or Albert Wilson can breakout if given the opportunity.

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Maclin will be a security blanket for the Ravens who were trying to figure out a way to replace the 100 or so targets in line for tight end Dennis Pitta. Unfortunately for Pitta, who won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2016, his career is likely over after suffering another hip injury. The favorite target of Joe Flacco will definitely miss this season and was subsequently released, which makes Maclin’s availability a timely arrival in Baltimore. In addition to Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace, Maclin would form a nice trio of receivers for Baltimore’s offense.