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Ask Terez: The Corporate Champ analyzes Chiefs’ release of Jeremy Maclin

Five things to know about former Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin

Former Mizzou All-American receiver Jeremy Maclin was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on June 2, 2017, after two seasons with the team.
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Former Mizzou All-American receiver Jeremy Maclin was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on June 2, 2017, after two seasons with the team.

Make no mistake about it — on its face, the Chiefs’ decision to release Jeremy Maclin in a classic Friday evening news dump before a warm summer weekend was the National Football League’s version of Hogan dropping the leg on Savage, Michaels superkicking Jannetty through the barber shop window, and of course, The Rock mocking the people after McMahon ordered a ringside lackey to ring the bell during a sharpshooter.

Just two weeks ago, Chiefs coach Andy Reid attended Maclin’s wedding, for goodness’ sake.

So considering Reid’s uncharacteristic heel turn — and yes, I’m including his surprising threat to shut down media access over a harmless question about Dee Ford’s absence, which could have easily been related to Ford attending a wedding, or getting his degree, or anything else of that ilk — this is absolutely the best time for the People’s Champ to not only follow suit and turn heel as well (you’ll see what that entails during my dealings with you all for the foreseeable future), but also write the first ever Corporate Mailbag, which will be designed to drive traffic, make money and yes, still answer some questions. Begrudgingly.

So let’s see if you jabronis can handle it. Not that I care, if you smell what I’m cooking.

All day long, the phone’s been ringing. Why, People’s Champ, why? Well, the People’s Champ didn’t sell out, Clayton. He just ... got ahead.

(See what I did there? I bet you were expecting a Maclin question first. Nope. Because the Corporate Champ doesn’t care what you want. He needs to establish this tongue-in-cheek heel turn, speak more in the third person and let you know things are about to get real now.)

I covered all the reasons I could dig up for the move in my news story, which I wrote for Saturday’s Star. The Corporate Champ encourages you to read it, jabroni, because, you know, clicks. Make sure you read it all the way to the end, too.

I’m gonna let @DiabetesMan87 sum up my response:

Well said. If I were a Chiefs fan, I’d be annoyed if Maclin were released solely for budgetary restraints and not, for example, to make room for a big-name addition. The offense stunk in the divisional-round loss to Pittsburgh, and I say the more weapons you have, the better. The Chiefs’ cap situation in 2018 isn’t good, so I do understand the move from a business perspective, because the Chiefs will save more next year by doing the move now than they would if they released Maclin after the season.

But still, unless you cut Maclin to add another big-name player in, say, the realm of Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, I believe it will be difficult to stand in front of this year’s team and say the goal is to win the Super Bowl when you a.) drafted a quarterback in the first round this year, b.) gave up a first-round pick next year to do it and c.) cut your most consistent receiver, a respected veteran with leadership chops whose absence stands to be felt in a very, very young receiving room. By the way, guess who are the oldest receivers in the room now? Chris Conley, Albert Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas. They’re all 24 years old. Good times!

By the way, I’m also not convinced Maclin is done. He looked spry in OTAs to me, and I believe him when he told me he’s determined to bounce back this year. Barring an A.J. Hawk-like development — remember when Hawk was released in 2011 and re-signed by the Packers the very next day? — I wouldn’t be surprised if Maclin signs with a team on the Chiefs’ schedule and scores a touchdown against them this year. In fact, I’d bet on that scenario (if I wasn’t an NFL reporter, of course), largely because the chances of a Maclin return seem to be dampened by the fact Reid and general manager John Dorsey gave him the Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles honorary “Thanks For All You’ve Done” treatment, where they issue nice statements about the player on the team’s web site following his release.

No, not completely. I mean, they aren’t the Browns or anything. But this obviously doesn’t help their chances to win in 2017, unless there were some chemistry issues we don’t know about (and to be clear, I’m just providing an example. I have no idea if there were any). And if there were not, I’m sure fans of the Raiders, Chargers, and Broncos are nodding their heads in silent optimism at the news.

I don’t have anything for you, really. I mean, I could talk to you about how I think Tyreek Hill could genuinely be a star as a pure wide receiver (and how all of a sudden, you all better hope my best-case scenario for Hill, which is a Steve Smith-type with sprinter speed, comes true). I suppose I could also talk to you about how Chris Conley looks bigger and faster in OTAs, and how Demarcus Robinson (and to a lesser extent, Seantavius Jones) have been catching deep balls with impunity.

But .... alas. The fact is, this is a group that now has much to prove. Several players will need to take the next step, which is possible, but with this move, the Chiefs have given themselves a smaller margin for error at the position, especially if injuries set in. Think about it – if Hill and/or Travis Kelce were to get hurt, they’d all of a sudden become a lot easier to defend without an established threat like Maclin out there.

I have no idea if Jeremy knew. I certainly didn’t see it coming. He’s looked good in practice, to me, and he’s been getting first-string reps so there definitely weren’t any obvious indicators.

Glad to see Matt getting into the corporate spirit.

Not necessarily. But anytime you want to criticize a player for getting the most money he can or refusing to take a pay cut to help the team, remember this day. Professional football is ruthless, and only slightly less cutthroat than a typical “House of Cards” episode. The moment a team can replace you for a cheaper option, it will. To every player that might be reading this ... look out for yourself. Speaking of which ...

No. Stop asking players to take “Ls” for the team! Tamba Hali doesn’t owe the Chiefs anything more than the outstanding effort he’s given them for 12 years. Hali wants to play for more seasons — dead serious, a source told me that back in January — and because of the way his last contract was structured, releasing him this year would have cost the Chiefs cap space this year, which I assume is the likely reason he’s still on the team. So ask yourself; if you stood to earn $7 million this season, after all the years you’ve played hurt and had to deal with Scott Pioli and other various disappointments (like inexplicably playing a season-low seven snaps in the divisional-round home loss), like would you give up that payday? Especially at age 33? I don’t think so.

Might be. Adding someone like Sherman – who was shopped this offseason by the Seahawks and had an oddly-timed expose written about him that dropped a week ago – would make the defense a potential powerhouse and ease fans’ pain immediately. The Chiefs could even absorb his large cap number – approximately $11.431 million in 2017 and $11 million in 2018 – with a few additional moves if they wanted to. But while Dorsey and Seattle general manager John Schneider are long-time friends, the Chiefs will already be without a first-round pick in 2018 and while almost assuredly have to surrender a juicy pick during a year in which they might need the cheap, cost-controlled labor the draft provides due to their cap troubles.

So let’s set our sights a little lower, if the Chiefs aren’t willing to gamble like that. Perhaps a veteran receiver like Anquan Boldin makes sense, and considering Reid’s penchant for second chances and reclamation projects, maybe Josh Gordon would too – especially if he gets reinstated in September and the young guys don’t get it done from now until then. But all of this is entirely speculation.

Yes. They would save $13.3 million if they cut him after June 1 of this year. And if they’d cut Smith instead of Maclin, they would have saved $16.9 million in 2018 instead of the $8.6 million they saved by cutting Maclin. Quarterback, however, is a harder position to replace than receiver.

Okay, the Corporate Champ needs his rest. Last question ...