The Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin yesterday in a move that surprised many. Despite coming off of a rough 2016 season, he was the team's best true wide receiver. The Chiefs will now rely on the likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Chris Conley to help Alex Smith lead their passing attack.
The Chicago Bears are in need of a bonafide No. 1 receiver. Their current group relies of a hodgepodge of borderline starters and steady veterans. Considering Maclin's pedigree, should the Bears give him a shot?
Maclin will undoubtedly come high in demand. Like Josh Sitton before him, Maclin is a rare example of a talented veteran hitting the open market. Unlike the Bears guard, though, Maclin is coming off of a rough year. It will be interesting to see how much that affects his stock in free agency.
Money certainly won't be an issue for the Bears: they have the seventh most cap space in the NFL. The idea of being the best receiver on a team would likely be intriguing to him, as well.
The Bears could use a weapon like Maclin on their offense. He's still a good, well-rounded athlete who has good hands. He has proven to be a capable No. 1 receiver and a viable deep threat. He would arguably be the best wide receiver on their roster right away.
However, at the age of 29, the prime of his career is likely winding down. Would he be willing to accept money over winning a championship? If he were to sign with the Bears, who don't appear to be contending any time soon, that's a sacrifice he would have to make.
Plus, Chicago has spent a lot of money trying to revamp their wide receiver position. Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle were all signed to help make up for the loss of Alshon Jeffery. Would they really be willing to spend even more money on another wide receiver? Sure, Maclin is better than all four of those aforementioned players, but it might not be the smartest decision to drop big bucks on a position that the Bears have already been very active in fixing.
So, should the Chicago Bears target Jeremy Maclin? Yes, but at the right price.
Maclin is no spring chicken anymore. He has some wear and tear on his tires, and is coming off of an injury-plagued 2016 season. However, he would be a welcome addition to a Bears receiver group that is lacking a true top guy. If Maclin is available for a relatively cheap price, then they would be smart to pick him up. If he asks for more than he's worth, though, it would be best to let another team sign him.