ROCHESTER – "Don't be surprised," if Jeremy Maclin signs with the Buffalo Bills, says former teammate LeSean McCoy.
Speaking on Sunday at his charity softball game here at Frontier Field, McCoy said he was the first person to text with Maclin after the wide receiver was a surprise release by the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday.
"Not to brag, but I was the first guy he talked to when the news broke," McCoy said. "I kind of understand because I've been through it. Maybe not to the extreme of being released, but being traded. That's basically telling you, 'You're not good enough for us.'
"I understand that. He was hurt, but I played with him and I know the guys in the locker room and I know he can help us out tremendously. I've been doing my recruiting already. Don't be surprised if it happens."
McCoy and Maclin spent six years together with the Philadelphia Eagles. As recently as a couple weeks ago, McCoy stood up in Maclin's wedding.
"Maclin's a complete receiver," McCoy said. "I think him and Sammy would do amazing work together, but it's a business so you have to figure out how it works out."
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is also on board with the idea.
"Actually Tyrod, he texted me when it happened," McCoy said. "I was flying in. I had just landed. Tyrod was like, 'Hey get me on the phone with Mac.' That would be cool to have another weapon in the offense, but you never know. A lot has to work out for that to happen. You know how the business goes."
Taylor, who was on hand to support McCoy's charitable work – proceeds from Sunday's game benefited the running back's foundation – planned to do his own recruiting.
"Today was the first day I seen Shady," Taylor said. "We texted about it, but want to get Maclin's number and try to reach out to him. Just to see what his thoughts, what is he thinking moving forward and try to get him here."
Maclin, 29, had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2014-15 before his production dropped to 536 yards last year, when he missed four games with injury.
"Yeah, I was definitely surprised that it happened," Taylor said. "You don't know the reasons, but what I know, from what I've seen from Jeremy Maclin, he's definitely a great player. ... I know some of our coaches have spent some time with him, as well. Would love to have a guy like him on our team competing and coming out and making plays for us. Especially means a lot to our wide receiver room, putting another veteran guy with a whole bunch of talent and still potential left to reach his best. I would love to have him."
Maclin and Taylor were joined at the event by Bills coach Sean McDermott and teammates including Lorenzo Alexander, Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughes, Charles Clay, Kevon Seymour and Michael Ola, among others.
“At the end of the day, good teams are all about culture and chemistry,” McDermott said. “This is a chance for us not only to get out into the community, but for the players to get to know one another a little bit better. Knowing your teammates is an important part of building that culture and that chemistry that good teams have.”
Because of field conditions, the softball game was not played, but a home run derby was held. Hughes defeated Seymour in the final round. McCoy has now held four such games. Proceeds benefit the LeSean McCoy Foundation, which provides “education and resource programs to disadvantaged youth,” while also raising awareness and providing support for individuals battling ALS, a cause close to McCoy’s heart after the death of his grandmother, Maryann Branch, because of it.
“First of all, LeSean's a tremendous person and a valuable part of our football team and the Bills' organization,” McDermott said. “For the ALS cause and the programs he's running in Harrisburg and Buffalo, it’s just for a great cause and great to see some of the support he's gotten in the community and also from the players.”
Taylor was asked what he’s learned about McCoy in his two years as teammates.
“It's definitely not anything he's putting on for show. Whenever he has an event, or he speaks, he means it,” he said. “It's coming from a special place in his heart. His foundation, it's of course to bring awareness to ALS. He lost a dear family member to it. This is definitely something that means something to him.
“I wish we had a better day, but we'll be able to hit some home runs, hopefully. Well, they will. I'm going to watch. It's always good to get out and support teammates, especially a guy like Shady, whenever you can.”