Ravens reportedly release Jeremy Maclin after one disappointing season
Baltimore continues its never-ending search for a legitimate downfield threat
Free agency hasn't officially begun and wide receivers are being wildly overpaid. And perhaps Jeremy Maclin can get in on some of that since the Ravens are expected to release him, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Maclin, who carried a $7.5 million salary-cap hit for next season and was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 16, lasted just one season in Baltimore, signing a two-year deal last June after after spurning an offer from the Bills. That proved to be the high point of his time with the Ravens.
Maclin played in 12 games last season but was fourth on the team with 40 receptions, behind 37-year-old tight end Ben Watson (61), free-agent wideout Mike Wallace (52) and running back Javorious Allen (46). He arrived from Kansas City, where the Chiefs had cut him even though he was just two years into a new five-year, $55 million deal. But injuries limited him to 12 games and 44 catches in 2016 and now the 29-year-old former Eagles first-round pick is again looking for work.
Maclin ranked 78th in value per play among all wideouts last season, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, though playing in one of the league's most impotent offenses certainly didn't help. That said, Maclin ranked 62nd in value per play the season before, his last with the Chiefs. Put another way: Maybe it's not just the offense.
Grant, the 2014 fifth-round pick, developed a reputation as a hard worker and was highly regarded by former coach Jay Gruden. But in four NFL seasons, Grant managed just 84 receptions for 985 yards and six touchdowns. The good news is that 45 of those catches, 573 of those yards and four of those touchdowns came last season. He also ranked 13th in value per play among all wideouts, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, ahead of Keenan Allen and Mike Thomas.
The bad news: Grant isn't a No. 1 receiver -- Pro Football Focus graded him 56th among all wideouts last season, behind Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin -- which makes his contract (four-year, $29 million deal with $14.5 million guaranteed, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport) a curious one.
Brown is the more explosive player but he has struggled with consistency and injuries since catching 65 balls for 1,003 yards in 2015.
Whatever happens in the coming days, expect the Ravens to use the draft to add more depth. In case you're wondering, we have Baltimore taking Alabama wideout Calvin Ridley with the No. 16 pick in our latest CBSSports.com mock draft.
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