KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Almost three weeks after being released from his contract, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is still unhappy with the Kansas City Chiefs. Making the point first with Pro Football Talk and then ESPN, Maclin is upset at hearing he was done after two seasons in Kansas City by getting the message in a voicemail from Chiefs general manager John Dorsey.
That’s fair. Maclin has a right to feel the way he feels after losing his job, even if he has since landed with the Baltimore Ravens.
But the Chiefs have a right to go about their business, too. They could have handled some things better, in particular giving Maclin the word face to face before he departed Kansas City for the weekend on the Friday he was released.
Still, the job of the front office is to make the team better. As odd as it might sound, the Chiefs believe they improved after releasing their most experienced and accomplished wide receiver.
The timing of Maclin’s release is the key to understanding it, or at least having it make more sense. The Chiefs waited to release Maclin only after exhausting trade talks. Upon being released by the Chiefs, Maclin said he found out they had been trying to trade him for two or three months.
The Chiefs were also two weeks into their offseason practice sessions and weren’t seeing what they wanted to see from Maclin, a receiver who was supposed to make a salary of almost $10 million this year. He wasn’t as explosive as the Chiefs thought he should be, whether that was because of last season’s torn groin, which limited his production, or the fact that he recently turned 29.
At the same time, the Chiefs have been impressed with some of their younger receivers. In particular, the Chiefs now have some expectations this season for Demarcus Robinson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2016.
On the Friday night in question, Dorsey and Maclin did have a phone conversation, according to a source. The conversation obviously didn’t satisfy Maclin.
But that’s not the Chiefs’ job. Their job is to build a better team, which sometimes means making difficult decisions. Time will tell whether the Chiefs are right on this one, but without the benefit of hindsight, they believe they are.