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Hard Knocks chronicles the end of the line for Aaron Maybin


Aaron Maybin entered the NFL with great fanfare as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. He was a major disappointment in Buffalo, played only slightly better in a stint with the Jets, and was released this week by the Bengals in what may turn out to be his last chance to make it as a professional football player.

Maybin was one of the major characters in this week’s Hard Knocks, and for those who didn’t realize he had already been cut, the episode at first suggested that he had some hope of making it with the Bengals.

“I was 20 when I came in the league. I was young. Young as s–t,” Maybin said early in the episode. “It being my fifth year, I understand a lot more now.”

One thing Maybin may never have fully understood is just how hard a player — even a player with Maybin’s natural talent — needs to work if he wants to last in the league. Hard Knocks treated us to the site of veteran linebacker James Harrison, one of those players who has lasted in the league in large part because of hard work, arriving in the weight room at 6:15 a.m. to get extra work done before practice. In a meeting, Bengals linebackers coach Paul Guenther used Harrison as an example to the undrafted rookies in the room, saying they should conduct themselves like Harrison if they want to make the team.

Maybin doesn’t seem to have that singular focus on football. As it so often does, this episode of Hard Knocks took us inside the off-field life of the player it was profiling, demonstrating that Maybin has artistic talent and is an avid painter. Maybin came across like a smart, interesting man. Just not as much of a football player. After a disappointing performance in last week’s preseason game, Maybin was told to bring his iPad with the playbook on it and visit coach Marvin Lewis.

“I understand. I’ve been in the game long enough to know how it goes,” Maybin told Lewis as Lewis told him he was cut.

Perhaps a career in art is in his future. He doesn’t seem to have much of a future in the NFL.

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78 Responses to “Hard Knocks chronicles the end of the line for Aaron Maybin”
  1. chemicaltoilet says: Aug 20, 2013 10:59 PM

    Maybe he can sell some of his triangle paintings to George Costanza.

  2. green41563 says: Aug 20, 2013 10:59 PM

    Maybin’s a good person, and it’s tough to see good people in this sort of position. Hope it works out for him.

  3. thejrod2006 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:01 PM

    Too bad for Maybin….he seems like a good kid who just couldn’t put it all together in the pros.

  4. peytonsneck18 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:04 PM

    well hope he saved his money, or put his education to good use

  5. spytdi says: Aug 20, 2013 11:05 PM

    He’ll get another chance soon enough. (see Ernie Sims)

  6. jetsclaps says: Aug 20, 2013 11:08 PM

    Showed some good flashes for the Jets when he got 6 sacks that one year. Just was too skinny to stay on the field all 3 downs and wasn’t as consistent a pass rusher as he needed to be if that was going to be his specialty.

  7. dondada10 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:10 PM

    I would have to erase the history on the browser of the iPad with the playbook in it.

  8. stewart09 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:15 PM

    he was always undersized at his position anyway and when he showed up at bills camp at like 230 pounds to play 3-4 LB it was just…wow glad hes grown up abit tho he seemed like a complete wanker as a bill.

  9. jetsfan79 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:15 PM

    He should play baseball

  10. giftnthecurse says: Aug 20, 2013 11:20 PM

    He can still run….
    Somebody will pick him up

  11. doe22us says: Aug 20, 2013 11:21 PM

    Dude can draw no joke. Anyhow if he saved his $$ he got from the Bills and Jets he should be alright for life.

  12. swaggyy says: Aug 20, 2013 11:22 PM


  13. fdugrad says: Aug 20, 2013 11:22 PM

    Isn’t this ALWAYS what happens when a person confuses his avocation with his vocation? Well, he declared as a soph, so there goes a marketable degree, he has played football since jr. high, and enjoys painting. Man, that’s going to really “flow” on any resume sent out. He better hope he saved his money and invested wisely, because if he started in The NFL in 2009, he’s not even thirty at this time, and he has quite a few years left in life, and the mortgage needs paying the groceries cost and medical coverage is not free any longer. Good luck with that painting thing Aaron!

  14. t8ertot says: Aug 20, 2013 11:24 PM

    Yup. Should have put those paint brushes down and picked up more dumbbells. Your either a football player, or an artist. Not both

  15. samoanjungle says: Aug 20, 2013 11:28 PM

    I don’t think a lot of these guys realize that, if you want to play at that level, your life and focus has to be football and hobbies and other interests have to be put aside.
    You want to spend your off-time painting? That’s great but there are too many guys out there that will spend their off-time preparing to play football and that leaves you behind.
    Just think if people like Chad Johnson would have left video games, Twitter, reality shows etc alone and studied his playbook instead.

  16. 303bengalguy says: Aug 20, 2013 11:31 PM

    I like probably most Bengal fans said “hey we got a former first round pick for pennies on the dollar, sweet! Let’s see what he’s got”… then I saw him on videos of mini-camps and training camp on, and then HK too, and realized dude is pretty gangly, and just didn’t have that mean streak in him necessary to cut it as an NFL defender.

    Nothing against the dude. Hope he makes the best of his life after football. But he just wasn’t cut out for the NFL and I’m glad that guys like DiManchie have a little clearer path at reps and eventually making the team.

  17. noring4youstill says: Aug 20, 2013 11:36 PM

    Well hopefully he saved his money. And most will never have the work ethic of Harrison. He is a prime example of what we need more of

  18. 1oldpro says: Aug 20, 2013 11:36 PM

    It’s not just football. Working super hard will get you where you want to go in any kind of job.

  19. FlashPatterson says: Aug 20, 2013 11:36 PM

    It’s really sad when a talent like his is wasted on someone who doesn’t appreciate it.

  20. sc49ers says: Aug 20, 2013 11:50 PM

    It’s to bad he could have been a good player..should have kept your head in the game..

  21. Obama's Ballsack says: Aug 21, 2013 12:16 AM

    What color is he?

  22. britishteeth says: Aug 21, 2013 12:17 AM

    No Worries. Chicks dig dudes with easels.

  23. eleventyeight says: Aug 21, 2013 12:26 AM


    Fixed that four you :-0

  24. racerx1225 says: Aug 21, 2013 12:31 AM

    u talk like you know him personally. that aint the case so save it…

  25. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 21, 2013 12:32 AM

    He may not have much of a future in the NFL, but if he was smart with his money he’s more than set for life and can do whatever he wants to. He was among the last of the rookie bonus babies before the wage scale was imposed.

  26. acgorski says: Aug 21, 2013 12:33 AM

    I’ll be the first to admit, I was an Aaron Maybin hater ever since his time with the bills. Now, I can’t help but feel for the guy. Jauron and the incompetent staff that was the buffalo bills brass drafted a kid way before his time. He was undersized, underdeveloped, and underly immature. Couple that with the pressures of being drafted 11th overall, and you get exactly what you’ve gotten, a derailed and sorrowful career. Give the kid a couple of more years in college and who knows what he could have developed in to. My hopes for Aaron are that he bounces back in life and quickly finds out that this life has so much more to offer other than football.

  27. tolan04 says: Aug 21, 2013 12:47 AM

    I cringe as a bills fan hearing that name

  28. brendanragan says: Aug 21, 2013 12:57 AM

    And it’s too bad, really, because his art blows.

  29. justsomerandomguy24 says: Aug 21, 2013 1:00 AM

    It is too bad that having a hobby outside of football is offered for an implicit reason for cutting someone– as though every player doesn’t have some free time when they go home in the evening.

  30. macjacmccoy says: Aug 21, 2013 1:08 AM

    I dunno I think of how guys like Jason Babin, Cameron Wake, Chris Clemons etc. also didnt have what it took to make it in the NFL in the early 20s. Some guys take longer to mature but when they do they can be pretty effective pros. Maybin is only 25 years old and in every major sport in the country there are numerous examples of players not making any impact at all until mid to late 20s. Guys like Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Dominic Brown, Matt Read etc. couldnt even make teams in their respective leagues until they were about the same age as Maybin is now. But they all have managed to make allstar games or are on the verge of doing so now.

    I named just a couple of Philadelphia area athletes off the top of my head who managed to accomplish this feat over the last 5 or so years. Imagine even if you only looked back 5 years, how many more players fit this mold in the nearly 50 other cities with major sports teams. The number would be huge.

    So I find it a little presumptuous and uninformed to basically state that we’ve seen pretty much everything Maybin is capable of doing in the NFL, and that it all amounts to him being a bad football player whose career is essentially over.

    He may not get another chance in the NFL. That is certainly a possibility. But that doesnt mean he wouldnt have become a good football player once he got a little bit older. All that would mean is that he wont get a chance to prove it either way, because the NFL doesnt have a developmental league like the NHL, MLB, or the NBA . That teams cant afford to use a roster spot on someone who might just need a little bit more aging to develop into the player he was suppose to be.

  31. 13fitzj says: Aug 21, 2013 1:26 AM

    A good guy in the league and it’s a shame but he just doesn’t cut it. I appreciate the energy he brought to the jets that first season. Good luck in all his future endeavors

  32. jtylert says: Aug 21, 2013 1:41 AM

    Best of luck to him.

    I feel for him, being cursed/blessed with mixed talents and passions myself. But in the end, you gotta do what makes you happy, regardless of what people think you SHOULD be doing.

  33. beavertonsteve says: Aug 21, 2013 1:52 AM

    Maybin barely weighed over 200 lbs coming out of PSU. I’m not sure how anyone expected him to be a successful NFL pass rusher with his physique. Then he “miraculously” piled on 40 lbs of muscle before the NFL combine and somehow people were shocked that he’d lost his one asset (agility) that allowed him to get to the QB at the collegiate level. Dude should have been a fourth round flyer that didn’t pan out instead of a first round bust.

  34. majormeatcurtains says: Aug 21, 2013 2:44 AM

    Where’s all the “Donkey” haters? Come oe in on this loser chumps, chine in on this loser losers.

  35. taylorgangtrippymane says: Aug 21, 2013 2:55 AM

    6 career sacks. Nice.

  36. manilarizzo says: Aug 21, 2013 3:00 AM

    Great example of how it all boils down to drive and intestinal fortitude for any pro athlete to be great, let alone sustain longevity as “just a guy”. The talents only get you so far.

    Now where is the Wonerlic test to measure such things?

    Maybin will go on to be a better man because he seems like a smart enough guy to know how to make the most of his experience in the NFL. I wouldn’t feel too bad for the guy.

  37. ishallcomment says: Aug 21, 2013 3:31 AM

    Everyone knew he wasn’t 1st round talent…

    Except the Bills…

  38. londonbengal says: Aug 21, 2013 4:03 AM

    Just goes to show, you can have all the talent, all the college game tape for guys like Mayock to drool over, but if you haven’t got the ‘want to’ between the ears, you ain’t got it.

    I hope teams like Buffalo who drafted him learn from Maybin, and draft smarter in the future. I know the Bengals have.

  39. joetoronto says: Aug 21, 2013 4:20 AM

    “He doesn’t seem to have much of a future in the NFL.”

    Neither do the Bungals.

  40. packmanfan says: Aug 21, 2013 4:59 AM

    Déjà vu.
    When you’ve watched one season of HK, you’ve seen them all.
    Especially this one since they are doing the Bengals *Groan* yet again already.

  41. youarejealousof6rings says: Aug 21, 2013 6:42 AM

    Surely this is his last chance?

  42. popcrowl says: Aug 21, 2013 6:45 AM

    Bring your ipad?….it just does not sound right.
    I get it, times are changing, but im school.

  43. bonniebengal says: Aug 21, 2013 6:50 AM

    I wish him great luck. Seems like a good guy, and he is definitely a talented artist. I hope he continues to pursue that.

  44. logics71 says: Aug 21, 2013 6:54 AM

    He played pretty good for the Jets. Actually led the team in sacks the year before last. Maybe with LB Quinton Couples out for 4 weeks, they might think about bringing Maybin back?

  45. twilson962 says: Aug 21, 2013 7:20 AM

    Honestly I forgot he was still in the league.

  46. father4 says: Aug 21, 2013 7:33 AM

    Mr Maybin–I wish you all the best. If you want to paint, then paint till your hearts content. I pray that as a 1st rd pick–9th overall–you made wise financial decisions and should have no worries in that regard. May your future be bright with or without football.

  47. pixelito says: Aug 21, 2013 7:35 AM

    Maybin looks tiny in comparison to Harrison.

  48. urfinished says: Aug 21, 2013 7:55 AM

    The highest level of football isnt for everyone. You’ll be just fine without it Aaron. If you have a passion for something else, there is no harm in that.

  49. anrockray says: Aug 21, 2013 8:03 AM

    So be it…looks like he gave it his best shot and if painting is what he loves to do instead of football, that’s what he needs to do…I wish him well.

  50. dspyank2k11 says: Aug 21, 2013 8:30 AM

    When the Bills took him in the first round I was visibly upset. Good luck in whatever it is that you are going to do without football Aaron.

  51. blackbug99 says: Aug 21, 2013 8:32 AM

    He never showed anything in Buffalo. Zero, zilch, nyet, nada. Then again, if you’re smart, the NFL is one of the only jobs that’ll give you millions for nothing. We normal folk have to work 20 to get just one million, lol and there is no guaranteed money if cut. Maybin’s a bust but his cash will buy a lot of paint!!

  52. madpunter88 says: Aug 21, 2013 8:44 AM

    That 2009 draft has to be one of the most disappointing in history with so many of the top picks not developing in the NFL.

  53. collegefan69 says: Aug 21, 2013 8:45 AM

    The Bills, Jets, and Bengals…next stop: Saskatchewan Roughriders?!

  54. floriooooooo says: Aug 21, 2013 8:54 AM

    yes, because reality TV editing = real life

  55. jm91rs says: Aug 21, 2013 8:55 AM

    I don’t have HBO this year, but it’s nice to know Lewis is cutting the players rather than Mike Brown sending that tubby Jim Lippincot at 5 am to knock on a player’s door and break the news that his dreams just got shattered.

  56. therealbillybuffalo says: Aug 21, 2013 9:01 AM

    As a Bills fan, all I can say is…..HAHAHAHAHA suck it Mayhem.

  57. DiscountMescan says: Aug 21, 2013 9:03 AM

    A lot of the blame lies on the Bills for overdrafting him by a mile. Dude has the $$ to do whatever he wants, nothing wrong with that.

  58. 1newprodigy says: Aug 21, 2013 9:17 AM

    He seemed like a very likable guy, but there are about 85 other likable guys on this roster right now. I think the only exception is Taylor Mays.. That dude is a bit of a douche.

  59. sketchydave says: Aug 21, 2013 9:23 AM

    All I hear is…
    “Mayhem Maybin”
    “Qb cravin”

    Super athletic. Just dumb as rocks. Head isn’t in it. Would frequently watch this bozo over pursue on special teams.

  60. jaxasc84 says: Aug 21, 2013 9:26 AM

    The scene with Mike Brown and the coaches discussing cuts was about as cold a meeting as I’ve ever seen. “We don’t have any use for him.” “We don’t need him.” “You don’t need him, do you?”. Interesting look inside the business, but man is it a cold business.

  61. youarejealousof6rings says: Aug 21, 2013 9:33 AM

    therealbillybuffalo says:
    Aug 21, 2013 9:01 AM

    As a Bills fan, all I can say is…..HAHAHAHAHA suck it Mayhem.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the NFL laughs at another failed Bills draft pick.

  62. eaglesnoles05 says: Aug 21, 2013 9:36 AM

    No one needs to feel sorry for this guy… He is still young enough to start working hard and make it onto an NFL roster if he wants to put in the effort. The league minimum salary even as a special teams player, at base, is outstanding compared to the real world.

    Or he can hang it up and do what he wants with the money he has made already… Go back to college if he hasn’t graduated… paint for fun…

  63. ihatethejets23 says: Aug 21, 2013 9:37 AM

    His rapping ability was as good as his football ability. Good luck to him in his art.

  64. ravensmike410 says: Aug 21, 2013 9:51 AM

    I have known Aaron since he was a little kid. Aaron has always been a guy with incredible talent, whether it was on the football field or on the canvas. I remember when he was a young boy he was commissioned to paint a mural in Baltimore City. His talent on the football field gained him a full scholarship at Penn State, known as Linebacker U, and for those who know Aaron, they know that his work ethic is par excellence. It’s not a matter of work ethic or a divided interest as you assert here. This may be the end of the line for Aaron as far as football is concerned, but I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

  65. eatitfanboy says: Aug 21, 2013 9:58 AM

    fdugrad says:
    Aug 20, 2013 11:22 PM
    Isn’t this ALWAYS what happens when a person confuses his avocation with his vocation? Well, he declared as a soph, so there goes a marketable degree

    Yes, because he can never, ever, go back to college. That’s how it works.

  66. lilmidas says: Aug 21, 2013 10:02 AM

    08-23-2013 —Bengals linebackers coach Paul Guenther fined by commisioner Roger Goodell for praising James Harrison

  67. eroschmidt says: Aug 21, 2013 10:10 AM

    Maybin was a #11 pick in 2009 before the rookie cap so he should be set for life. His lack of passion proved to be one of the biggest draft busts in Bills history, and that is saying a lot. Good luck and good health Maybin, I hope I never hear your name again. GO BILLS!!!

  68. jetsarestacked says: Aug 21, 2013 10:11 AM

    i have never seen an athlete display the kind of enthusiasm maybin did when he played with the jets. the dude absolutely loved playing football and that’s what i loved that about him.

    i’ll always root for this guy no matter what he does or where he ends up.

  69. howiehandles says: Aug 21, 2013 10:26 AM

    Love Hard Knocks.

    Just enjoy seeing these guys from behind the mask. Seeing them as real humans. Maybin seems to be an intelligent dude, and should be fine. Hopefully he’s held onto his money.

  70. jamal1971 says: Aug 21, 2013 11:46 AM

    joetoronto-leave Bengals and Bengals fans alone. u are Glenn Beck of trolls.

  71. yanksbills says: Aug 21, 2013 12:10 PM

    He should sign on to Buffalo’s practice squad. He owes us a lot of money.

  72. sportnorcal says: Aug 21, 2013 12:18 PM

    I wonder in the post-Davis era if the Raiders will still jump at former 1st round busts. They used to stockpile them.

  73. Kaz says: Aug 21, 2013 12:23 PM

    JoeToronto is still upset about the Palmer trade. Ignore him.

    This is why Hard Knocks is so interesting. I would usually take a shot at Maybin call him a bust etc, but he seemed like a pretty cool guy. Never would have known that side of him if not for the show. Wish him the best in whatever his future holds.

  74. bzillaz says: Aug 21, 2013 12:37 PM

    Seeing his release reminds me of the worst part of the game. He seems like a good person. I wish him the best!

  75. jamal1971 says: Aug 21, 2013 12:45 PM

    Joetoronto wants Oakland to become Bengals,but Oakland needs to draft better and smarter to get back to respect. Come on,Joe

  76. jofb716 says: Aug 21, 2013 1:16 PM

    ishallcomment says:
    Aug 21, 2013 3:31 AM
    Everyone knew he wasn’t 1st round talent…

    Except the Bills…

    …maybe you need to check your Mock Drafts from 2009 because numerous credible sources and media houses had him as a first round pick, even a Top 10 pick. Kiper, McShay, and Smith all had him in the first round. SI had him going #11. Bleacher Report had him at 6.

    Or you could just go ahead and spout nonsense…which you just did.

  77. coachbeck says: Aug 21, 2013 1:37 PM

    My favorite was BJGE getting a ride from Mike Brown and Marvin calling him out for it

  78. bonniebengal says: Aug 22, 2013 7:32 AM

    Apparently Maybin had offers for and sold a lot of his art after the Hard Knocks episode, some of it for as much as $20,000.

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