Jets, Marcus Maye Far Apart In Extension Talks?

Jets safety Marcus Maye wants a new contract, and as a franchise-tagged player, he has until July 15 to agree to a long-term deal. Otherwise, he will play out the 2021 campaign on his $10.6MM franchise tender and will be eligible for free agency again in 2022.

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com wrote last week that, although Maye attended the Jets’ mandatory minicamp after skipping voluntary OTAs, he blew off his media obligations. In Cimini’s view, that suggests that contract negotiations are not going the way Maye would like, and that the 28-year-old DB did not want to discuss the matter publicly.

This week, Cimini — who believes the negotiations will go down to the wire — offers his take on where the two sides might stand. He thinks that the Jets view John Johnson‘s recent three-year, $33.75MM ($11.25MM AAV) deal with the Browns as a fair comp for Maye. Although Johnson is about three years younger than Maye, both players were drafted in 2017, and they have similar career statistics to this point. That similarity extends to the advanced metrics: Pro Football Focus rated Johnson as its third-best safety in 2020, while Maye received the fifth-highest grade. Neither player has made a Pro Bowl.

But Cimini believes Maye is eyeing a contract with an AAV of around $14MM, a threshold that six other safeties in the league have met or exceeded. New York GM Joe Douglas has generally stuck to his price during his time as the Jets’ front office head, so it’s no sure thing that Maye and the club will be able to find common ground.

Douglas used two 2021 draft picks on safeties: Auburn’s Jamien Sherwood in Round 5 and Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen in Round 6. The Jets are also returning 2020 third-rounder Ashtyn Davis and are transitioning free agent acquisition Lamarcus Joyner back to safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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