Chiefs cut Jeremy Maclin two years after signing him to $55 million deal

The Chiefs just decided to part ways with their best receiver. On Friday, the team announced that they cut Jeremy Maclin just two years after they signed him to a big five-year, $55 million contract.

"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," coach Andy Reid added. "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."

Here's Maclin weighing in:

So yeah, this is surprising. Sure, Maclin struggled last year, catching just 44 passes for 536 yards and two touchdowns, but that's not entirely his fault. After all, he was forced to catch passes from Alex Smith. And putting up prolific numbers with a quarterback who is allergic to downfield shots is never an easy task. In 2015 -- Maclin's first year in Kansas City -- he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark.

It seems obvious then that this is a financial decision from the Chiefs' perspective. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs saved $10 million by cutting Maclin. The Chiefs are saving money, but I'm just not certain it'll be worth it. At the very least, it's surprising they couldn't salvage a draft pick by trading him to a receiver-needy team or a contender. 

The Chiefs officially have a huge hole at receiver. Travis Kelce is a game-changing tight end. Tyreek Hill is a home-run hitter. But besides that, they're looking at a group featuring Chris Conley and Albert Wilson. It's not the best group. Hill was explosive last year, but he's hardly a consistent pass catcher.

Make no mistake about it, the Chiefs will likely miss Maclin during the season.

As for Maclin, well, he probably won't be without a job for too long. At 29, he's still young and good enough to be a consistent contributor somewhere. Teams like the 49ers and Browns have cap space and a need at receiver, but I could also see him landing with a team that has actual playoff aspirations -- a team like the Redskins, Eagles, Lions, or heck, even the Cowboys.

Someone is going to take advantage of the situation. It's not often a talent like Maclin becomes available in June, and there's recent history of summer signings having an impact for Super Bowl teams. Since entering the league in 2009, Maclin's averaged roughly 68 catches, 914 yards, and seven touchdowns per season.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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