KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jeremy Maclin had a decision to make, but it apparently wasn’t easy after he listened to other offers when the three-day “legal tampering” window opened prior to free agency.
The final choice came between returning to the Philadelphia Eagles or coming to Kansas City for an opportunity to reunite with familiar faces.
The latter scenario won.
“Both of those situations made sense and Kansas City made more sense,” Maclin said. “I think kind of with my personality, kind of the way I am, I think just fits me a little better. Then also Coach (Andy) Reid, (assistant head coach/wide receiver coach David) Culley, (offensive coordinator) Doug (Pederson), a lot of guys who I had a chance to build relationships with in Philadelphia were here and it just felt like home. It is home. I’m excited about that.”
The Chiefs brain trust shared Maclin’s sentiments.
“Today is very exciting from my standpoint, this organization’s standpoint,” general manager John Dorsey said. “I know the organization is excited. The fan base is excited. Anytime you can get a player like this is very rare. Not only does he produce on the field, but he’s such a great person.”
The 26-year-old Maclin joins the Chiefs after signing a reported five-year, $55 million deal with $22.5 million guaranteed.
He spent six seasons in Philadelphia where Reid used a first-round pick (19th overall) on the former Missouri star, and Reid appeared thrilled to once again coach Maclin.
“We just filled his pockets up a little bit more, put him on a plane and got him here,” Reid joked. “It’s a great thing.”
Maclin totaled 343 catches for 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns with the Eagles, appearing in 75 games with 73 starts.
He suffered an ACL injury in 2013, but rebounded in 2014 to post career highs in receptions (85) and yards receiving (1,318), while tying a career-best 10 receiving touchdowns.
Reid certainly appreciates what Maclin brings as a player, but the Chiefs head coach was quick to point out the wide receiver offers more.
“I think you guys will find this out that as good of a player as he is, he is even a better person than that,” Reid said. “So all the success he’s had in this league and it started right when he was a rookie, one of those few guys that stepped in as a rookie and played well. That’s hard to do at that position, but he was able to do that. But I think with time here, you’ll see even more than that with the leadership and the competitiveness on the field, very intelligent. So he’s a top-notch person and top-notch player.”
The Chiefs filled a hole at the wide receiver position and there is plenty of time for Maclin to acclimate with his new teammates when the team hits the field for organized team activities (OTAs)
Maclin admits the West Coast offense he played in while with Reid in Philadelphia has changed, but adds he’s a fast learner and shouldn’t have trouble adjusting.
In the meantime, the native of Kirkwood, Mo., will enjoy being in an ideal environment.
“This is the perfect situation with familiarity with what I came into the league doing and being able to come back to the area where it all started,” Maclin said. “(I’m) three hours from home, an hour and a half from where I went to college. It was kind of a no brainer for me. I’m just happy to have the opportunity.”