The Jets drafted Ashtyn Davis in the 2020 third round and are moving recent acquisition Lamarcus Joyner back to safety, where he has fared best as a pro. But the team used its franchise tag on Marcus Maye. Robert Saleh does not want that transaction to precede Maye departing in 2022.
Saleh said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini) he spoke with Maye before the offseason program started and that the Jets’ front office is “working relentlessly” to hammer out an extension for the fifth-year safety.
Joe Douglas said earlier this week keeping Maye in the fold long-term was a priority. Although, the third-year GM previously viewed Jamal Adams as a cornerstone piece; and Maye’s agent made noise earlier this year by voicing frustration about the team’s lack of progress on an extension. The Jets also drafted two safeties — Auburn’s Jamien Sherwood in Round 5 and Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen in Round 6 — this year.
Maye’s arrival precedes Douglas’, with previous Jets GM Mike Maccagnan selecting the Florida alum in the 2017 second round. While Adams received greater accolades during their run together, Maye has been a four-year starter. Saleh did not express any concerns about Maye being a fit for his system. The former 49ers DC appears to be envisioning a Maye-Joyner back-line tandem, Cimini adds. Joyner came over from the Raiders, who cut him after stationing him at slot cornerback for two seasons.
The Broncos further raised the bar for this position this offseason, making Justin Simmons the NFL’s first $15MM-per-year safety. Five other safeties are signed to deals worth at least $14MM per year annually. While Maye has yet to make a Pro Bowl, he is undoubtedly shooting for a contract in this range. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 safety last season. The Jets have until July 15 to finalize an extension, or Maye will play the season on the $10.6MM safety tag.
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