Last June, the Buffalo Bills pursued free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, hoping to add him to a receiving corps headed by Sammy Watkins. Star halfback LeSean McCoy attempted to woo his former teammate with the Philadelphia Eagles, and it appeared that the plan nearly worked. Ultimately, Maclin decided to travel south and sign with the Baltimore Ravens instead, agreeing to a 2-year deal worth $11 million.
After an injury-plagued 2017 season which saw him battle shoulder, back, knee, and concussion issues, Maclin was released for the second time in a calendar year. The 29-year old receiver will turn 30 in May, and he hasn’t played a full 16-game slate since 2014. After recording the second of two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2015, Maclin has totaled 88 receptions and 976 yards over the last two seasons combined.
If the Bills were interested in his services in 2017, does it make sense for them still to be interested in 2018? Not necessarily. Maclin has not shown the ability to stay healthy throughout his career, and it appears that his skills are diminishing rapidly. He once was a legitimate downfield threat, but he averaged a career-low 11 yards per reception last season, and has not averaged more than 12.2 yards per catch since his Pro Bowl campaign in 2014.
While signing Maclin to a veteran-minimum deal could prove to be a prudent decision, anything more would seem to be paying a player for his name rather than his production or potential for growth. The Bills would be best served by avoiding a second courtship of Maclin in 2018.