The wideout's career lows in catches and receiving yards -- combined with the $5 million in cap space the Ravens can gain by releasing him -- makes Maclin a top candidate to get cut before he's due a $1 million roster bonus on March 16. The Ravens desperately need the cap room because they're only projected to have $12 million in 2018, which ranks as the fourth-lowest total in the NFL, according to Over The Cap.
Maclin, 29, could increase his chances of staying in Baltimore if he would reduce his $4 million salary for next season. But he and quarterback Joe Flacco lacked rapport. With Maclin's late arrival (he signed June 12) and Flacco missing all of training camp with a back injury, Maclin produced 40 receptions for 440 yards (11-yard average), the worst numbers of his eight-year career.
From Week 12 on, Maclin had nine catches on 25 targets, the second-worst percentage (36 percent) in the NFL. Only Cleveland's Corey Coleman had a worse catch-to-target rate (35.5 percent).
Maclin's struggles were compounded by injuries. He missed two games in October with a shoulder injury, and he was sidelined for the final two contests with a knee issue.
Maclin received so much backlash on social media for not playing in the last two games that he posted this on Twitter:
So many emotions right now...thankful for such an amazing wife to have my back and hold me down. Happy new year twitter fam be safe tonight.
— Jeremy Maclin (@jmac___19) January 1, 2018
There were high expectations when Baltimore signed Maclin to a two-year, $11 million contract after he was abruptly released by the Kansas City Chiefs last offseason. Considered the top wide receiver available at the time, Maclin had averaged 68 catches, 900-plus receiving yards and six touchdowns in the first seven seasons of his NFL career.
But parting ways with Maclin could be the start of a new-look wide receiver group in Baltimore. Mike Wallace and Michael Campanaro are free agents, and Breshad Perriman isn't guaranteed to return. The only wide receiver certain to come back next season is Chris Moore.
The Ravens also face decisions with these players this offseason:
--Cornerback Brandon Carr ($4 million in cap savings): What's working in Carr's favor is the uncertain status of Jimmy Smith, who tore his Achilles in early December. Yes, Carr gave up his share of big plays. But he's a solid cornerback, and he's the most durable cornerback in the NFL. The Ravens, though, will be tempted because of that sizable chunk of cap space they can gain by releasing him.
--Tackle Austin Howard ($3 million): He did an admirable job replacing Rick Wagner and played better in the second half of the season. Howard had to gut it out at the end with a knee injury. His future likely will be determined by whether the Ravens feel they can find a better value in free agency or feel like they can find a right tackle in the draft. Baltimore will be itching to get that additional cap space, which puts a bull's-eye on Howard.
--Running back Danny Woodhead ($1.8 million): The Ravens never really figured out how to properly use Woodhead, and part of that problem traces back to the hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for most of the first half of the season. Kenneth Dixon is coming back, but his injury history as well as a suspension makes him a risk. Woodhead's manageable $2.55 million salary could allow him to keep a roster spot.
--Safety Lardarius Webb ($1.75 million): He was basically a special-teams player after getting phased out of the defense toward the end of the season. The potential of young nickel backs Tavon Young and Maurice Canady hurts the chances that Webb will remain on the team.
--Wide receiver Breshad Perriman ($1.62 million): It doesn't really make sense to give up on Perriman in March, because the wide receiver group is likely getting a makeover. The Ravens also will extend every opportunity to Perriman, given that he's a 2015 first-round pick. But there are no guarantees Perriman will make the final 53-man roster. He'll have to show better hands and more confidence if he wants to play out the final year of his rookie deal.
--Linebacker Albert McClellan ($1.25 million): The highly respected special-teams ace will turn 32 in June and is coming off a torn ACL. This could be a case of the Ravens needing to get younger and cheaper.