Without Jeremy Maclin Buffalo Bills Focus on Who’s Here

Photo of Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin from KCTV5.com.

Jeremy Maclin gets no wings.  Even the flats are off-limits.  I’ve banned him from the Anchor Bar on the few occasions he’s lucky enough to visit Buffalo even if management is more gracious than I am.  He can pretend free crab cakes are better than paying for chicken.  It’s time to delete tweets and claim we never wanted him the whole time.

The surprise free agent would’ve been nice for the Buffalo Bills to have as a dream.  In terms of ones that haven’t come true, choosing Baltimore is relatively minor.  Still, the pain of rejection stings long after the deal.  Just about everyone wanted the speedy receiver. The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t get confused and try to sign him.  But I wouldn’t have been shocked if it happened.

Why doesn’t my team do whatever I want at the moment?  Warn management to be cautious about spending before urging them to sign every marginally famous player who hits the market.  The sober approach advocated by, ahem, some people means not flipping out if a decent player fails to join the Bills.  But I want shocking new names!  Who cares if they help?  Winning the offseason is what matters, according to a former coach who’ll stay that way.

At least a team the Bills hate lost a good player no matter what.  Unlike the Patriots, it’s not personal: the Chiefs handed over next year’s first-round pick to get the quarterback they wanted, so they should tank for Buffalo’s sake.  I’m unsure who’s left to catch in Missouri.  Maclin leaving still hurts Kansas City, as they’ll struggle to field the league minimum number of players.

Football researchers still can’t precisely determine why Maclin was released.  This is the glamorous profession where you can be fired in a moment.  Teams saving money by jettisoning talent illustrate the downside of playing a game for a living.  That new deal is quite a consolation prize.

But it’s someone named Steve Bisciotti who’s paying.  Is the price worth it?  Maclin landing with the Bills would’ve given hope to those asking Kate Upton to the prom.  Now, the only options left are classmates.

Speaking of date dances, we can now be mean about Maclin like the jerks who rejected our invitation.  It’s not that Buffalo fans would ever feel jilted, but here we are.  Now, we’re free to complain about why he’s awful.  Good luck improving your catch percentage, Jeremy!

It’s natural to overreact with contempt.  This is sports, after all.  But fans can eventually settle down and focus on what assets our team does have.  It’ll happen after the newest voodoo doll has been fashioned.

Photo from voodoo786.com.

Take consolation in how Maclin may have stunk.  Someone who’s been pretty good may not have solved all the offense’s problems, could be declining at the start of his eighth season, or possibly struggled to fit.  That’s when he gets out there to begin with, as he missed four games last year.  The Bills don’t have to worry if being hurt is the start of a trend.

Sure, we also don’t get someone who can catch passes.  But we may as well make the worst case for him now.  Who wants to be elected president?  You have to wear a tie every day.

Did I mention how much I like Buffalo’s current wideouts?  Like Jim declaring he’s happy with Karen after seeing Pam back with her jerk boyfriend, Bills fans can move past hypotheticals.  I guess they’re going with Sammy Watkins, a recent collegian, and some depth veterans.  If you’re offering sacrifices to the football gods in the name of one training camp surprise, request nice route running.

As for the aforementioned rookie, Zay Jones has a chance to prove he can start from the first game.  There aren’t too many other possibilities.  If anyone from the group would like to distinguish themselves, we’re ready to cheer.  Presently obscure receivers can pick up an opportunity tossed away by some guy moving to Maryland.

The only potentially bigger beneficiary is the man who led the effort to recruit the wayward Maclin.  LeSean McCoy uses slights as motivation, which means thanking the new Raven for turning down Buffalo.  If there wasn’t enough incentive for this club to run first, that’s been addressed.

Sep 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nothing personal against Maclin just because I hate his guts and hope he doesn’t make the roster.  Antsy fans wish there had been a transaction in June just to have something fun to discuss.  Now, we can only rue a deal that never was.

At least the Bills didn’t get worse.  That may not inspire wild card fantasies.  But they’ll just have to work with available assets, namely the same wideout corps they had Monday morning.

The lack of a flashy sidepiece means the approach remains unchanged.  General manager Brandon Beane has stated he doesn’t plan getting crazy with free agency.  With Maclin turning down the chance to grow with Buffalo, it’s not a choice.

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Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

2 thoughts on “Without Jeremy Maclin Buffalo Bills Focus on Who’s Here

  1. I’m guessing the Bills were probably offering a cheap, one year deal. I’d have some interest in Maclin for next year, but I didn’t particularly want him this year. I’d rather not increase the win total from 6 to 7… Unless this year’s team shocks the world, it’s all about the draft position to me and hoping they can land one of those highly touted college QB prospects.

  2. Maclin would have been nice, especially since we don’t know if Watkins will be on this team long term. If Watkins gets hurt again and misses significant time, he’ll be gone. McDermott is all about accountability and durability, so this is a prove it year for Watkins. Next year, if Watkins is gone, then Zay Jones becomes the #1 WR and there’s currently no one worth a damn behind Jones.