San Francisco 49ers Need To Beat Buffalo To The Punch For Veteran Receiver

Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) makes a reception during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) makes a reception during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco 49ers have done a lot to upgrade their roster this offseason and could help take their offense to another level by adding a surprising recently cut veteran.

New San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch have turned their roster on its head. With a couple dozen new faces – and counting – the 2017 version of the 49ers will bear little resemblance to the version that took the field in 2016.

Which is, of course, the point. When you have a team that went 2-14 least year, and has won just 15 games total over the last three seasons, a radical shake up is not just inevitable, but should be welcomed.

San Francisco has a plethora of new bodies on the offensive side of the ball including receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, who will give a couple of solid targets for quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and/or Matt Barkley.

But the 49ers could really take their offense to another level if they were to add the recently cut Jeremy Maclin.

In a move that surprised many, the Kansas City Chiefs parted ways with the seven-year pro in what is most likely a cost cutting move. But their loss could very well be San Francisco’s gain.

Maclin has accumulated 6,395 yards and 46 touchdowns in his seven professional seasons. And that’s having been stuck with Alex Smith as his quarterback in Kansas City. Maclin’s numbers decreased over the last two years with the Chiefs, culminating with a 44 reception, 536 yard, two touchdown performance in 2016.

Maclin’s diminished numbers last season can be contributed to a few things – Smith being the starting quarterback, while at the same time, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill became more prominent factors in the offense.

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Many believe the Chiefs have erred in letting Maclin go. He was always the vastly underutilized home run threat lurking in the background. The safety blanket Smith could rely on to keep the ball moving when the offense was getting bogged down.

If Kelce and Hill struggle to put up numbers this year, Kansas City may very well regret letting Maclin go.

The 49ers though, are in need of an upgrade in talent. Trying not to take anything away from Bruce Ellington, Jeremy Kerley, or DeAndre Smelter, but a receiving trio of Garcon, Goodwin, and Maclin sounds a lot more formidable and a lot more powerful.

And, it would give Hoyer and/or Barkley some serious offensive weaponry to work with as well as keeping defenses a little more honest. They’d have to find ways to cover three legit receivers rather than squat on the one guy making plays.

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With plenty of room still under the cap, money isn’t the issue for San Francisco. They could offer Maclin a sizeable deal and could very likely outspend anybody else for his services, if it came to that. San Francisco can most definitely afford Maclin’s services.

And in Shanahan’s record breaking offense in Atlanta last year, he had a big trio of receivers in Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Taylor Gabriel. In San Francisco, Garcon and Maclin could play the Jones and Sanu roles while Goodwin can play the Gabriel role.

And it’s a trio that could perform at a very high level and help take the offense as a whole from where they were last season – dead last in almost every conceivable category – and elevate it tremendously.

But, if they want to pursue Maclin, they’re going to have to beat Buffalo to the punch. With Tyrod Taylor and Maclin’s former teammate in LeSean McCoy both recruiting him hard, the 49ers are going to need to act quickly.

It’s a move that makes all the sense in the world. Adding a receiver of Maclin’s caliber to the offense can only help move it from the bottom of the trash heap to a position much, much higher.

If they want an offense with some real pop and one that will keep defenses on their toes, Shanahan and Lynch would do really well to consider getting Maclin to the Bay Area.