The Saints will not have one of their starting safeties available for a bit. Marcus Maye received a three-game suspension Wednesday. This is in connection with Maye’s 2021 DUI arrest, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
Maye’s arrest occurred back in February 2021 in Florida, but the case continued until this summer. Maye, 30, received six months’ probation via a plea deal he accepted in August. The former Jets second-rounder is in his second season with the Saints.
This arrest occurred ahead of Maye’s final Jets season, when the team franchise-tagged him before an ACL tear ended the parties’ five-season partnership. Maye signed a three-year, $22.5MM deal with the Saints in 2022. A 31-month gap between an off-field incident and a suspension certainly represents a lengthy span. Maye had entered a not guilty plea initially before pleading no contest to the DUI charge this summer.
The February 2021 incident also brought charges of damage to property and person, along with leaving the scene of an accident. Maye also faced a civil suit stemming from the crash; that case is ongoing. Maye was also arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm in an alleged 2022 road rage incident, but the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office cited a lack of evidence and refused charges. Players do not need to be convicted or even charged to receive NFL suspensions, but Maye’s current ban covers the 2021 incident.
New Orleans features a veteran secondary housing Pro Bowlers Marshon Lattimore and Tyrann Mathieu. The team assembled the Mathieu-Maye duo last year, adding Maye in March and then signing Mathieu after the 2022 draft. Maye missed seven games last season due to rib and shoulder injuries.
Maye has delivered early production this season, intercepting a pass in Week 1 and notching a sack in Week 2. The Saints have veteran Lonnie Johnson Jr., fifth-round rookie Jordan Howden and veteran special-teamer J.T. Gray as safety backups. Among this group, Howden’s 26 defensive snaps lead the way this season.