Jeremy Maclin has been released by the Chiefs, who made the surprise announcement Friday evening.
"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."
Maclin is entering his ninth season, but saw his playing time diminish last season. He caught just 44 passes for 536 yards and two scores in 12 games last season, his second with the Chiefs. He left the Eagles after six seasons in 2015 and signed a five-year, $55 million contract to reunite with former Eagles coach Andy Reid in Kansas City.
"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," Reid said. "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."
While coach of the Eagles, Reid selected Maclin out of Missouri with the 19th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The St. Louis native caught 56 passes for 773 yards as a rookie.
Plagued by nagging injuries for much of his time in Philadelphia, Maclin bounced back from a torn ACL that cost him the 2013 season to have the best year of his career in 2014. The speedy receiver caught 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 scores to earn his first Pro Bowl berth.
After posting a career-high 87 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight scores in 2015, Maclin was slowed by an ankle injury last season. Maclin was due $12.4 million this year and the move will save the Chiefs $10 million in salary cap space because he's a post-June 1 roster cut.
Crazy business this is...appreciate y'all #ChiefsKingdom
— Jeremy Maclin (@jmac___19) June 2, 2017
The Chiefs did use a fourth-round pick on former Michigan receiver Jehu Chesson and Reid said this week he's been impressed by the team's rookie class. The Chiefs also have dynamic return man Tyreek Hill back following an explosive rookie season, and Hill could now see more reps on offense.