Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has reportedly narrowed his decision down to the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Maclin is expected to sign with either the Bills or Ravens as early as Monday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 12, 2017
Maclin was surprisingly released by the Kansas City Chiefs recently after just two seasons with the team. He caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns in his first year in K.C., but he was limited to just 44 receptions, 536 yards and two scores in 12 games last season.
At least one other team is said to be interested in Maclin, but the Bills and Ravens make the most sense. Both teams have a need at wide receiver, and Baltimore in particular has always been a good landing spot for veteran pass-catchers.
Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has already visited with one prospective employer, and is set to check out a second.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Maclin spent Tuesday and Wednesday visiting with the Buffalo Bills, though he left without signing. He is now set to travel to Baltimore for a Wednesday meeting with the Ravens. It is unclear if Maclin will take any further visits beyond those two.
Both destinations would make sense for Maclin, with both squads lacking depth at the receiver position. Baltimore would also give Maclin the opportunity to reunite with Marty Mornhinweg, who was his offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles.
At least one other team has looked into signing Maclin, but it stands to reason that Buffalo and Baltimore, as the teams who got his first two visits, interest him the most.
If LeSean McCoy has his way, he’ll reunite with former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Jeremy Maclin on the Buffalo Bills.
McCoy admitted Sunday at his charity softball game that Maclin had reached out to him first after his release from the Kansas City Chiefs, and the running back expressed optimism that the two could join up in Buffalo.
“I know he could help us out tremendously,” McCoy said, via ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “I’ve been doing my recruiting already, and don’t be surprised if it happens.
“That would be cool to have another weapon on the offense. But you never know. A lot of things would have to work out for that to happen. You know how the business goes.”
Maclin’s release from Kansas City came as a surprise, even to his teammates. Buffalo has some cap space and top receiver Sammy Watkins has battled injury, so there could be a fit.
The Buffalo Bills may have kept quarterback Tyrod Taylor on board, but that doesn’t guarantee him the starting job.
New Bills general manager Brandon Beane told WGR 550 on Monday that, while Taylor would be the starter right now, everyone has to earn their position through preseason work.
“If we walked out there today I would say Tyrod is probably the starter, but we haven’t even gone through OTAs,” Beane said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “We got the young guy (fifth-round pick Nathan) Peterman, I thought he did some nice things this weekend at the minicamp. Cardale Jones has a huge arm and talent, I don’t know anything about him personally. T.J. Yates has done some starting in his career. So there are some guys on this roster.
“I’m for open competition. (Coach) Sean (McDermott) is. Earn the right, from whatever job you have, whatever position you’re trying to get. I’m not in the business of handing out positions on May the 15th. We’ve got a long way to go. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited about the challenge. That’s what I’m saying. I’ve got a lot of belief in Tyrod, but we’ve got other guys that are going to challenge for that as well.”
The Bills opted not to part ways with Taylor this offseason when they had the chance, but the rumor mill has indicated that it may not necessarily mean they see him as the long-term solution. They’re going to make him work for the starting job, though he will probably win it.
The Buffalo Bills are well aware that their team is beginning to look like Carolina Panthers North.
After announcing the hiring of ex-Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane as their new general manager on Tuesday, the Bills tweeted this funny message to their NFC counterparts.
Hey @Panthers, sorry we keep stealing your staff. Just know it's out of respect.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) May 9, 2017
Of course, the Bills hired this former Panthers defensive coordinator as their head coach back in January. They also signed another trio of ex-Carolina players (fullback Mike Tolbert, cornerback Leonard Johnson, and wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown) in free agency this offseason.
The Bills are scheduled to visit the Panthers in Week 2 of the 2017 season, so it’s probably a good idea to get your Spider-Man Pointing At Spider-Man memes ready for that one.
The writing had been on the wall for former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley for a while now, and that made it extremely awkward as he tried to run the NFL Draft.
While ostensibly in charge of the Bills draft, Whaley was marginalized during the three-day process, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB. Rumors flew with reckless abandon, and it was unclear who was actually in charge of the operation. One source called it “the weirdest three days.”
Whaley was shifted aside in part by new coach Sean McDermott, who grew in power heading up to the draft. While he was not formally running the process, he had veto power over virtually all decisions, and was allowed to pull prospects from the team’s draft board if he did not want them.
Whaley had been on the chopping block for some time leading up to the draft. The decision to fire him really couldn’t have come as a huge surprise.
Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula is remaining tight-lipped as to why he fired general manager Doug Whaley just a day after the conclusion of the NFL Draft.
Despite his opinion that the draft “went pretty well” and crediting Whaley for leading the draft effort, Pegula abruptly fired Whaley and much of the team’s scouting staff on Sunday morning, saying that the move was part of a “process.”
“We ran a process after the season ended and made the decision at this time,” Pegula said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “We ran a process, and as a result of that process, after the draft we made the decision.”
If Pegula is telling the truth, then he’s indicating that he made the decision about Whaley’s future in about a twelve hour window following the conclusion of the draft. He was tight-lipped when asked what, exactly, led to that decision.
“We have certain aspects we need to get a little better in,” Pegula said.
Pressed further on what those aspects were, the owner stated that his reasons were private and would remain so.
“I need to keep that private,” Pegula said. “I don’t want to discuss that publicly.”
While the public isn’t entitled to an answer, not offering one after such an oddly-timed firing looks bad, and adds to the Bills’ reputation as a somewhat dysfunctional organization — a reputation Pegula railed against earlier in the offseason.