The Chiefs are partying like it’s 2005.
More than a decade after the NFL made it easier to part ways with veteran players in March instead of June, the Chiefs opted to hold receiver Jeremy Maclin on the roster until June 2, before surprisingly cutting him in the kind of post-June 1 move that used to be commonplace.
It sounds permanent, and not merely an effort to bring him back at a lower rate after he tests the market.
“I’d like to thank Jeremy for his effort and dedication the past two seasons,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “I have great respect for all players, which makes decisions like these very difficult, but we felt it was in the best interest of our club moving forward to part ways at this time. We wish Jeremy the best as he continues his career.”
“These decisions are never easy, especially with a player like Jeremy who I’ve grown close with on and off the football field over the years,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business and how he handles himself as a professional. I wish him the best of luck moving forward.”
The move means that the Chiefs will absorb a $2.4 million cap charge this year and $4.8 million next year, instead of taking the full $7.2 million at once. The move also avoids a $9.75 million salary for 2017 and a $250,000 workout bonus, clearing $10 million in cap space.
Maclin had 1,088 receiving yards in his first season with the Chiefs, but only 536 in 2016. The 29-year-old Maclin instantly becomes a free agent, and he exits Kansas City with $23 million for two years of work.
Maclin joins running back Jamaal Charles as high-profile skill-position players who have been sent packing by the Chiefs this year. Some think that quarterback Alex Smith eventually will join them as former employees of the team.