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.

78 responses to “Hard Knocks chronicles the end of the line for Aaron Maybin

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 bengals.com, 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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…

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!!!

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

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

  40. 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.

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!