After Maclin's surprising departure from America's meth-capitol, like many others, began imagining my team signing him. The more I entertained it the more I realized that it just wouldn't happen. Here's why.
I took a stab at his value and ended up with around $7-9m/year for no longer than 3 years, though bad decisions happen all the time. If he felt generous or inclined enough to take a pay chop to play on a contender, the 'boys could easily make him an offer worth around $13-16m for 2 years, with Romo one-quarter of his way out. Other teams, however, may offer him a lite-Cobb-esque 3-4 year contract, meaning that the Cowboys may need to offer him similar, which would be a bad move, due to natural regression and injury risk. Now, where would he fit?
-He could be competing with Terrance Williams (who will be on a cheaper contract) for a timeshare across from Dez, a weak spot on the roster. While there is a size difference, Maclin's physical abilities (when healthy) make up for it, as he has an impressive vertical, still. I personally believe Williams would likely be quicker than Maclin, after his ACL recovery. However, Maclin has better hands. Both have a penchant for making amazing plays, albeit inconsistently. Realistically, Jeremy Maclin could beat out Terrance for the #2 through the course of 2017, but it would take some impressive work and a quick understanding of the offense. I don't see it happening as the Cowboys seem dedicated to their Texas-born Dallas-darlings, especially ones with fresh legs.
-Speaking of darlings, he could compete with Cole Beasley (who is actually on a heavier contract than Terrance Williams) for the slot. Now, this would make sense, as Maclin would be an upgrade over both Beasley and Ryan Switzer, and it would make sense as Maclin is arguably one of the best slot receivers in the league, still. This would be a move that, on the field, would work. Though, this would be a little overkill, as Cole Beasley, who is coming off his best season, is more than capable enough in the slot and has a mostly-guaranteed contract that would be rendered useless with Maclin's arrival. That brings me t-
Cowboys have Beasley locked up on a pretty secure contract because they want HIM there. They love him, the crowd loves him, the fans love him. He is Dallas' underdog golden boy, who played HS ball at the local Little Elm public, and everyone knows it. Jerry Jones may not be too caught up in hometown antics, but the Cowboys franchise has an illustrious history of local heroes. Saying the jersey sells well is an understatement, considering his spot. Yeah, Dez, Zeke, Dak and Witten will sell more than him, but that is expected. Even when Cole Beasley is playing piss-poorly there will waves of Dallas-ite-ians backing him with support, admiring the small-man's dedication to the game. My point is: The Cowboys are obligated to keep Beasley on the field as long as he is healthy and producing, due to his home-town favoring.
This would likely boil down to Maclin coming to Dallas to play a timeshare utility role, which the boys would be hard-pressed to overpay for. Maclin might also be unlikely to sign for a reduced role when other teams could offer him the top slot.
6/5 update: Jason Fitzgerald of overthecap.com estimated Maclin would pull in offers of around 5m/year. While this seems a little low to me, I'll take his word for it, as the site is focused on contracts.
6/12 update: Maclin has signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
Side note: You know, I think Maclin may have benefited the most out of this situation, aside from having to deal with some chaos at the moment. He gets to move out of Kansas, Missouri. All jokes aside: he may end up on a better team, with a better contract, and with a little dead money on the way, too.