First it was DeSean Jackson. Then LeSean McCoy. Now, it appears that Jeremy Maclin is the next offensive skill position superstar to leave the Philadelphia Eagles. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the veteran wideout will be reunited with coach Andy Reid and join the Kansas City Chiefs as soon as Tuesday.
As Around the NFL editor Gregg Rosenthal points out, Maclin will move into the "Z" receiver position that "makes Reid's offense go." The Chiefs are also expected to release Dwayne Bowe, leaving Maclin to be the team's unquestioned No. 1 wideout and the top option in the pass attack for Alex Smith. After all, the rest of the team's receiving corps, one that failed to score a single touchdown in 2014, includes the likes of Albert Wilson, Junior Hemingway and Da'Rick Rogers.
With that said, Maclin should see a ton of targets and retain much of the value he attained during last season's breakout campaign. Right?
Well, maybe not.
The Eagles threw the football 621 times last season. That was the fifth-most in the NFL. The Chiefs, on the flip side, finished with 493 pass attempts. That was the fifth-fewest. Oh, and then there's the concern over Smith's skills as a deep-ball thrower. He completed a mere eight of 24 passes of over 20 yards last season. That's not good. Oh, and then there's that trend of wideouts not posting huge fantasy totals in Reid's offenses.
Yes, Terrell Owens had success in the pass attack in his short tenure with the Eagles. But did you know that in his 14 campaigns as the team's head coach, Reid's top wideout in terms of receiving yards had fewer than 1,000 yards nine times. Furthermore, no wide receiver ever had more than 1,200 yards in a single season under Reid's watch. And before you mention Jackson's name, keep in mind that he put up fewer than 1,000 yards in three of his five seasons with Reid.
In fact, two of Jackson's three best fantasy seasons (2013, 2014) came without Reid.
All of this means that Maclin should no longer be seen as a surefire No. 1 fantasy receiver, much like he was last season under Kelly. In fact, I prefer the Missouri product as a No. 2 option even though he could turn out to be somewhat of a disappointment in the stat sheets.
In Philadelphia, the Eagles now have Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper and Josh Huff as the only receivers who are under contract and were on the 53-man roster last season. That means Kelly and the team's brass have some work to do to replenish the corps this offseason. But for now, Matthews sees the biggest bump in fantasy value and will be a surefire breakout candidate.
Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if he scored more fantasy points than Maclin next season.