Extra Points: Maye, Covid, Vikings, Raiders

Marcus Maye and the Jets didn’t come to an agreement before the deadline for franchise-tagged players, meaning the safety will play the 2021 season under the $10.6MM tag. We heard recently that the two sides never came close, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com opined that they would be heading for divorce this next offseason since another tag would cost the team $12.7MM in 2022. Yesterday Maye “expressed frustration” about the situation and “hinted he hasn’t ruled out asking for a trade if he’s tagged again in 2022,” Cimini writes. “I’ve got 17 weeks to be the best that I can be — and once we get to that point, we’ll cross that line again,” Maye said cryptically when asked if he’d approached the Jets about a potential trade.

When asked if he felt treated fairly throughout the process this summer, Maye said “to say fair, unfair … I’d say somewhere in the middle,” before adding “from my end, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t satisfied.” New York insisted all offseason that locking Maye up was high on their agenda, but the Florida product clearly doesn’t feel like they were being truthful with that sentiment. The Jets, of course, went through a similar situation with fellow safety Jamal Adams before ultimately trading him to Seattle. For what it’s worth, Maye didn’t sound intent on playing elsewhere, saying he just wants to play “wherever I’m welcome. I was drafted here. I’d love to be here.” This will be a situation to keep an eye on throughout the season.

Here’s more from around the league as we wrap up Sunday evening:

  • The NFL adopted strict COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players this offseason, and it’s now clear they’re going to be serious about enforcing them. Unvaccinated players will automatically be fined $14,650 for every violation of the protocols, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com writes. That might not be a fortune for the league’s stars, but it’s almost half a game check for younger and cheaper players. Potential violations of the protocol include not wearing a mask when required to or not adhering to the strict rules about socializing. There’s already been a fair amount of drama surrounding the protocols even as training camps just start to get underway, so we’ll likely see a whole lot more before the season is done.
  • Speaking of those COVID-19 protocols, the Vikings are now very shorthanded at quarterback because of them. With Kellen Mond testing positive for the virus, fellow passers Kirk Cousins and Nate Stanley had to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list as close contacts. That left former Washington quarterback Jake Browning as the only active signal-caller they have. As such, Minnesota is looking to add a veteran free agent quarterback, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Tomasson reports 2020 UDFA from North Arizona Case Cookus is a “strong possible option” to be signed. He later tweeted that a source told him Cookus would workout for the team on Monday. Former St. John’s (MN) quarterback Jackson Erdmann will also be present at that workout, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. Erdmann recently played in the Johnny Manziel-affiliated Fan Controlled Football League. Presumably, somebody will be signed from this workout.
  • Raiders running backs coach Kirby Wilson abruptly retired a couple weeks ago, and now we know who will be replacing him. Las Vegas will have offensive quality control coach Tim Berbenich coach the running backs this year (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Other coaches will also assist, Rapsheet hears, but Berbenich will be the one in charge. Wilson had been a running backs coach in the NFL since 1997 with the Patriots, and had coached under Jon Gruden in Tampa before re-joining him with the Raiders in 2019. Berbenich also was on Gruden’s staff for a few years with the Bucs, and has been with the Raiders since 2018. He was previously an offensive quality control coach. He’ll now lead a new-look backfield after the offseason signing of Kenyan Drake to pair with Josh Jacobs.
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