Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts after over throwing his receiver during the second half of play against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. File photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said he was "shocked" when he heard the news of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin's release.
Maclin was released on Friday after the Chiefs wrapped up the second week of voluntary workouts. The move saves the Chiefs $10 million in salary-cap space because Maclin was cut after June 1 -- the team had about $3.5 million available before the cut.
Maclin spent the past two seasons in Kansas City under head coach Andy Reid, who also was on the sideline during the wideout's time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Jeremy is a really good friend, an amazing teammate, so still kind of just processing that he's not going to be in there with us, a guy that's done a lot for us the last two years, a guy I've grown really close to," Smith told the Kansas City Star on Friday.
A groin injury led to the 29-year-old Maclin enduring his worst season in the NFL in 2016. He had career-worsts in receptions (44), receiving yards (536), average yards per catch (12.2), touchdowns (two) and games (12).
Maclin has 474 career catches for 6,395 yards and 46 touchdowns in 102 NFL games since being selected by Philadelphia with the 19th overall pick of the 2009 draft.
"Jeremy's a great person, a great teammate, a great player," Smith said. "On all those levels, (I'm) just kind of letting that sink in, I guess.
"He played through a lot last year, played through injuries and pushed through trying to help this team. Obviously as players we don't get to make these decisions. For us, we have to move on a roll as a group. We obviously wish Jeremy well wherever he lands, and he'll land on his feet."
Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million contract with Kansas City in 2015.
"These decisions are never easy, especially with a player like Jeremy, who I've grown close with on and off the football field over the years," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters. "I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business and how he handles himself as a professional. I wish him the best of luck moving forward."