Saints Plan To Release S Marcus Maye

Again needing to make several moves to reach cap compliance, the Saints will make a cap-casualty call this year. They are planning to release Marcus Maye.

The team informed the veteran safety he will be cut at the start of the 2024 league year, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Maye has been with the Saints for two seasons, but injuries and a 2023 suspension have kept him off the field for extended stretches.

Cutting the former Jets second-round pick, who has missed 17 games since signing with the Saints in 2022, will save only $1.19MM. It would, then, make more sense for New Orleans to make Maye a post-June 1 cut. Teams can designate two players as such each year, and this genre of cut would save the team $7.2MM. Teams cannot release post-June 1 cuts early, so the delay here points to that type of release transpiring.

The Saints gave Maye a three-year, $22.5MM contract in March 2022. While Maye started 10 games that season, injuries and multiple arrests have impacted his Louisiana stay. Maye’s three-game suspension — levied midway through last season — stemmed from a DUI arrest while the DB was still with the Jets. Maye, however, was also arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm in fall 2022. That charge was later dropped due to insufficient evidence, but Maye’s Saints tenure did not go smoothly.

Maye, who will turn 31 next week, only gave the Saints seven games last season. A shoulder injury prevented him from suiting up for the Saints’ final six games. Maye also endured multiple three-game injury-driven absences in 2022, giving him four such instances of being out for at least three consecutive contests during his Saints tenure.

No guaranteed money remains on Maye’s deal, but the Saints’ penchant for contract restructures will affect another transaction. Three void years are on Maye’s deal stemming from a 2023 restructure, spreading out more than $6MM in dead money. A post-June 1 release will save the team some money this year, but it will ensure the contract remains on the books through 2025. The Saints are inching toward the NFL’s salary ceiling. Prior to the Maye move, they sit just more than $16MM over the cap.

Franchise-tagged by the Jets in 2021, Maye suffered an Achilles tear to end his New York tenure. After grading Maye as the league’s 26th-best safety in 2022, Pro Football Focus slotted him 80th last season. The Saints have Tyrann Mathieu signed through 2024, while rookie Jordan Howden replaced Maye as a starter in seven games. The fifth-round pick played 569 defensive snaps in 2023.

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