Jeremy Maclin is headed to Baltimore.
The 29-year-old Pro Bowl wide receiver made his choice between the Ravens and Bills on Monday, opting to join quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on a two-year contract. Mornhinweg held the same position in Philadelphia during Maclin’s early years in the NFL.
While no veteran available this late in the offseason can make or break a season, the Maclin decision will have a significant ripple effect for the Bills. Desperate to add punch to their passing game alongside Sammy Watkins, Maclin represented the type of experienced veteran coveted by coach Sean McDermott and running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy openly lobbied for the Maclin signing over the last 10 days.
Although Eagles coach Doug Pederson said last week the team wouldn’t sign him, Philly did take a shot a signing Maclin, sources informed of the situation told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. There was some interest on Maclin’s part in returning to Philadelphia, where he played his first five NFL seasons.
So it goes for the Ravens, who have had success with late-career additions at the wide receiver spot. Both Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith were productive in their early to mid-thirties, ushered in by the experienced and steady-handed Flacco.
The two-year deal signed by Maclin should help him get back on his feet. An injury-riddled 2016 broke up what had been a two-season stretch where Maclin caught 172 passes for 2,406 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Unable to add much offensively this offseason, the Ravens lucked out. Their reputation as a perennial contender had to be a deciding factor for Maclin, who has almost exclusively played for teams in the mix since entering the NFL in 2009. One of the more dependable receivers on the market, Maclin’s last full season yielded a career-best catch percentage of 70.2.
As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted Monday on Good Morning Football, the signing could push the Jets and Eric Decker close to a resolution. Viewed as the next-best option on the market, Decker might see his scenery change quickly.
See you back in Baltimore soon @jmac___19.