Reports: WR Jeremy Maclin plans to sign with Chiefs

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Dec 23, 2012; Philadelphia; Then-Eagles head coach Andy Reid talks with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (18) on the sidelines at Lincoln Financial Field. Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 23, 2012; Philadelphia; Then-Eagles head coach Andy Reid talks with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (18) on the sidelines at Lincoln Financial Field. Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs appear on the way to acquiring a much-needed upgrade at the wide receiver position with a player very familiar with coach Andy Reid’s version of the West Coast offense.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, is prepared to sign with the Chiefs at the start of the NFL’s calendar year at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, according to numerous media reports.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN was the first to break the news, and the story was confirmed locally by Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star.

The transaction, of course, isn’t official until the calendar year begins. And the Chiefs went through a scenario in March 2014 when the team may have thought it had a deal with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders only to see Sander sign with the Denver Broncos.

But the signs point to Maclin reuniting with Reid, who used a first-round pick (19th overall) on Maclin in the 2009 NFL Draft.

The 6-0, 200-pound Maclin, who played collegiately at Missouri, would provide the deep threat missing from the Chiefs offense the past two seasons.

Maclin recorded 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns on 143 targets in 2014. The receptions and yards receiving established career highs for Maclin.

No Chiefs wide receiver had more than 60 catches, 800 yards receiving or a touchdown last season.

Maclin, who turns 27 in May, has appeared in 75 games with 73 starts on his career, totaling 343 catches for 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Kansas City must clear cap space by the start of the calendar year in order to accommodate Maclin. The Chiefs are currently an estimated $1.7 million over the cap, according to spotrac.com. But the team can make cost-saving moves by cutting ties with the likes of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, quarterback Chase Daniel or even linebacker Derrick Johnson.

The potential signing of Maclin would provide a stabilizing presence in what should be a young wide receiver corps in the event the Chiefs release Bowe, and Maclin can hit the ground running in Reid’s offense.

Maclin is also familiar with assistant head coach/wide receivers coach David Culley and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, both of whom served on Reid’s staff in Philadelphia.