The Kansas City Chiefs announced the release of veteran wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on Friday night. It was a shocking development around the NFL.
No one saw this coming.
Maclin, 29, is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him put up the worst performance of his career. He tallied just 44 receptions for 536 yards and two touchdowns. That came on the heels of Maclin putting up nearly 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with the Chiefs.
We're not too sure where Maclin will land, but he promises to be an attractive free agent this late in the offseason. Pure conjecture here, but the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers make a ton of sense. Depending on where Maclin ends up, he has solid fantasy upside in 2017.
From a Chiefs perspective, this has wide-ranging ramifications.
Tyreek Hill was absolutely brilliant as a rookie last season, putting up 61 receptions for 593 yards six touchdowns. He also caught 74 percent of the 81 passes thrown in his direction. He also added 267 yards on 24 rush attempts. Imagine Hill playing a larger role and seeing his targets increase to the 130 range. WR1 all over that.
Maclin's release could have an impact on Travis Kelce as well, but he is already Alex Simith's favorite target in this offense. There's no real reason to value him much more than the top-three TE that he is.