Marcus Maye

AFC Notes: Hill, Chiefs, Texans, Jets

We got a major development in the Tyreek Hill case yesterday, when it was reported there was no “active investigation” into the Chiefs receiver by law enforcement. It appears that the leaked audio of Hill threatening his fiance wasn’t enough to reopen the case. With the prospect of criminal prosecution looking increasingly unlikely, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com argues that the league needs to take over the investigation. Florio writes that “signs are emerging that the NFL” plans to “not-so-subtly brush this one under the rug.”

Florio writes that whether Hill is prosecuted or not shouldn’t matter in terms of a potential suspension, saying that the “NFL has created a clear precedent that cries out for action, given aggressively zealous investigations and suspensions of players like Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.” It’s a fair point, as Elliott was suspended for six games despite prosecutors declining to press charges. Florio doesn’t sound too optimistic about the league pursuing this further, noting the “league at a minimum is floating a trial balloon regarding the possibility that no action of any kind will be taken.” It’ll be very interesting to see what steps Roger Goodell takes next, and how it effects the Chiefs.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • DeAndre Hopkins was clearly banged up at times last season, but the severity wasn’t clear. Speaking to the media on Saturday, the Texans receiver made it clear just how hurt he was, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s the most banged up I’ve ever been playing football. I was dealing with serious injuries a lot of people would have sat down for,” Hopkins said. “I tore ligaments in my shoulder completely off the bone,” during the team’s playoff loss to the Colts, he revealed. “I tried to play even though I had only one arm.” Hopkins is a true warrior, and he’s only missed one game since entering the league in 2013. McClain writes that the Texans’ best player “has been rehabbing during the offseason program and expects to be ready for training camp.” What Hopkins is describing is pretty significant, so hopefully it doesn’t effect him moving forward.
  • Marcus Maye was the 39th overall pick of the 2017 draft, and he started all 16 games for the Jets as a rookie. Last season was a disappointment though, as he only managed to appear in six games as he dealt with various injuries. He landed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury in December, and he’s still “dealing with the lingering effects” of that injury now, per Ethan Sears of the New York Post. Sears writes that Adam Gase has said they hope to have Maye fully cleared for training camp. Hopefully Maye won’t be rusty, as New York will be counting on him to play a big role.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets reunited with running back Bilal Powell yesterday.

Jets To Move Marcus Maye To IR

One of the Jets’ two second-year safety starters won’t finish the season. New York will place Marcus Maye on IR, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Shoulder and thumb ailments kept Maye out of Jets practice all week. The team had already declared him out for Sunday’s game. Maye missed the Jets’ Week 11 game against the Bills and will end up being absent for the team’s final seven games of the season.

It’s been a tough year for Maye, health-wise. The 2017 second-round pick missed the Jets’ offseason program because of ankle surgery, and the thumb injury suffered in October cost him time as well. Maye’s played in just six games this season.

The Utah product did manage to squeeze in a forced fumble and a 104-yard interception return for a score in those six contests, and it’s likely he will be back as a starter for the 2019 Jets alongside Jamal Adams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets S Marcus Maye To Miss 3-4 Weeks

Jets safety Marcus Maye is expected to miss three-to-four weeks after suffering a broken thumb against the Colts on Sunday, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

This isn’t the first time this year that Maye, the 39th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has dealt with injury. Maye underwent an ankle scope during the offseason, and then suffered an additional foot injury during in September. While he wasn’t placed on the physically unable to perform list to begin the season, Maye did miss the first three games of the 2018 campaign.

The Jets selected Maye and fellow safety Jamal Adams with their first two picks in last year’s draft, and the results have been outstanding thus far. Maye has handled “center field” for New York while Adams has played closer to the line of scrimmage, and Maye actually ranks higher than Adams in Pro Football Focus‘ safety grades (No. 10 vs. No. 12). On the season, Maye has managed 19 tackles, a half-sack, and one interception, one that miraculously featured a 104-yard return but not a touchdown.

With Maye out, the Jets will need to rely on their defensive back depth for the next few weeks as they face the Vikings, Bears, Dolphins, and Bills before hitting a bye in Week 11. While Doug Middleton is listed as Maye’s direct backup on New York’s official depth chart, Terrence Brooks was the defender who actually replaced Maye on Sunday, playing 29 snaps in the process.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Kearse, Maye, Patriots

Although there’s been some speculation the Jets could release veteran wideout Jermaine Kearse in the coming months, Kearse seems likely to stick on New York’s roster, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Gang Green would save $5.5MM by cutting Kearse prior to the beginning of the regular season, and the club has a well-stocked depth chart at receiver that includes Terrelle Pryor, Robby Anderson, and Quincy Enunwa, among others. However, the Jets certainly don’t need any extra cap space (they’re seventh in the league with more than $20MM in reserves), and Kearse is viewed as a high-quality locker room presence. Perhaps most importantly, Kearse posted the best statistical campaign of his career in 2017 by managing 65 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots are expected to keep four or five running backs on their Week 1 roster, but Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, and James White are the only current locks, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Burkhead and Michel, the latter of whom New England selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, figure to split early-down work, while White will take on his familiar role as the Patriots’ passing game back. Brandon Bolden is likely to make New England’s squad thanks to his special teams ability, which sets up a showdown between Jeremy Hill, Mike Gillislee, and undrafted free agent Ralph Webb for the club’s final spot. Webb, notably, received a $70K signing bonus in order to latch on with the Patriots, so he could be a surprise addition to the team’s roster.
  • In a separate piece, Reiss also takes a look at the Patriots‘ wide receiver corps, and notes Julian Edelman (who will begin the year on the suspended list), Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, and Cordarrelle Patterson are near certainties for New England’s Week 1 lineup. Former fourth-round pick Malcolm Mitchell, who’s been beset by injuries during his short career, is not a lock for the Patriots’ roster, per Reiss, nor is Kenny Britt. The Patriots exercised Britt’s 2018 option earlier this year, but he’s only guaranteed $150K for the upcoming season. Rookie Braxton Berrios and former first-rounder Phillip Dorsett are among the other New England pass-catchers vying for looks.
  • Jets safety Marcus Maye underwent offseason surgery to correct an ankle issue, but New York is hopeful the second-year defensive back will be available for the start of training camp, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Maye, a second-round pick out of Florida in 2017, started all 16 games alongside fellow rookie Jamal Adams, but graded as a bottom-15 safety among 84 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Jets head coach Todd Bowles wants both Maye and Adams to make “mental improvements” in the second NFL seasons, per Mehta.

East Rumors: Williams, Jets, Bills, Patriots

Trent Williams is on schedule to participate in Redskins training camp, as expected after a surgery that was slated to erase his offseason. While the official name for the operation the ninth-year left tackle underwent is a tibial tubercle osteotomy, Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington notes doctors performed a “slight” microfracture surgery as well. The TTO procedure repaired Williams’ damaged kneecap. However, microfracture surgery is among the most difficult to surmount for athletes and could be worth monitoring as the soon-to-be 30-year-old blocker returns to full-contact work. Nevertheless, Williams has been working toward a camp re-emergence and fully expects to be ready by the time Washington’s roster reconvenes late next month.

Here’s the latest from the east, moving to another recent surgically altered starter.

  • The Jets were without one of their starting safeties during minicamp. Marcus Maye underwent ankle surgery this offseason. He is targeting a training camp return, per Calvin Watkins of Newsday. Maye started alongside Jamal Adams throughout last season. Third-year UDFA Doug Middleton, who missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, took the first-team reps in Maye’s place.
  • Lorenzo Alexander is not a lock to make the Bills‘ 53-man roster, Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News notes. Two years removed from a 12.5-sack season, one that secured him a two-year contract, the 35-year-old linebacker is unlikely to be a starter in 2018, per Skurski. Alexander started 11 of Buffalo’s 16 games last season, doing so in a 4-3 defense after he thrived in the 2016 Bills’ 3-4 look. Skurski notes rookie Tremaine Edmunds and 2017 fifth-rounder Matt Milano are the frontrunners to be the Bills’ three-down ‘backers.
  • Despite playing only half of last season, one halted by a PED suspension and subsequent Jets release, Jeremy Kerley appears to be a lock to not only make the Bills but play a key role, Skurski writes. The veteran slot receiver is entrenched alongside Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones among Buffalo’s top three, in Skurski’s view. Kerley, 29, finished as the 49ers’ leading receiver in 2016 before signing a San Francisco extension. The 49ers then cut him before last season.
  • On the subject of wide receiver battles, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com expects ArDarius Stewart to be given another chance with the Jets (Twitter link) in camp. The third-round pick out of Alabama caught just six passes as a rookie, and the Jets signed Terrelle Pryor and now have Quincy Enunwa healthy. And 2017 fourth-rounder Chad Hansen has fared well this offseason. Nevertheless, Mike Maccagnan using that third-round choice on Stewart likely keeps him safe for at least another training camp, per Cimini.
  • One of the bigger free agency defections the Patriots have had to deal with in a while, Nate Solder‘s departure to the Giants leaves what looks like a two-man battle for his left tackle spot, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston notes. Trent Brown took the lion’s share of the first-team reps during offseason work, with first-rounder Isaiah Wynn lining up at left guard more. However, left guard starter Joe Thuney is currently absent. Once he returns, Perry points out Brown and Wynn are likely set to compete for one spot. The other would become a swing backup, with Marcus Cannon now back at right tackle.

East Notes: Revis, Jets, Giants

The Cowboys have a fair amount of cap space, but they are reportedly uninterested in adding Darrelle Revis to their defensive backfield. That doesn’t mean, however, that certain Dallas players don’t want to see Revis in silver-and-blue in the fall. Star wideout Dez Bryant tweeted Revis yesterday afternoon, saying, “Dallas?…I promise you are going to love what we got going on around here..your attitude fits our culture…waiting…..” While the Cowboys are doubtlessly pleased to see that Bryant is happy in Dallas, Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk confirms the earlier report that the team is unlikely to sign Revis. The Cowboys signed Nolan Carroll and drafted three corners this offseason, and they have chosen to build through the draft in recent years rather than sign expensive free agents.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com has a number of Jets-related notes this morning, and he observes that, outside of this year’s No. 6 overall selection, Jamal Adams, the player who has really stood out in the team’s OTAs is fellow rookie safety Marcus Maye. Maye, a second-round choice, impressed the organization with his ability to digest the defense and limit his mental mistakes on the practice field, leading New York to believe it could have an excellent safety tandem on its hands.
  • Cimini also believes that the Jets are making a mistake by parting ways with Eric Decker. He says young quarterbacks like Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty need a reliable wide receiver to help their development, and without Decker, New York really does not have such a player. Cimini also says that, if Jeremy Maclin signs somewhere other than Baltimore, the Jets’ leverage in Decker trade talks with the Ravens would of course increase, though he does not expect the Jets to get anything higher than a late-round draft choice for Decker regardless of what happens with Maclin.
  • Cimini also notes that there is “nothing cooking” on the Sheldon Richardson trade front, and that the Jets are prepared to go into the season with him and are hoping he can boost his value in advance of the trade deadline.
  • We have heard a lot about a potential long-term deal for Giants receiver Odell Beckham lately, but James Kratch of NJ.com, like many other writers, believes the most likely outcome is that OBJ plays out the 2017 season on his modest $1.8MM salary and that the two sides begin discussing a multi-year extension after the season.
  • In the same piece, Kratch says the Giants really like second-year kicker Aldrick Rosas, who has been exceedingly impressive in offseason practices, and that it is unlikely Big Blue adds a veteran kicker at this point.
  • Eagles rookie Nate Gerry‘s conversion to linebacker is going well, as Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. The Nebraska product has put on about 16 pounds over the past month in his effort to go from hard-hitting collegiate safety to professional linebacker, and he will have the opportunity to get significant playing time in an unsettled linebacker unit in Philadelphia.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/23/17

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Jets announced that they’ve signed second-round safety Marcus Maye and fifth-round linebacker Dylan Donahue. Maye, a Florida alum, was the second safety New York drafted last month, joining sixth overall selection Jamal Adams. With Marcus Gilchrist having been released, and Calvin Pryor in danger of being traded or cut, Maye and Adams could be Gang Green’s starters come Week 1. Donahue, meanwhile, will likely begin his NFL career on special teams as he transitions from Division II West Georgia.
  • The Seahawks have signed third-round wide receiver Amara Darboh, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Darboh, the penultimate pick of Day 3, put up 57 receptions for 862 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior season at Michigan. At 6’2″, 214 pounds, Darboh will give Seattle some size on a wide receiver depth chart that includes smaller pass-catchers such as Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.
  • The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, fifth-round running back Jeremy McNichols, and seventh-round defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, the club announced today. Tampa Bay traded up in the draft to acquire both Beckwith and Tu’ikolovatu. Of the trio, Beckwith seemingly has the best chance for playing time early in his career, as he can take over at strong-side ‘backer for Daryl Smith. McNichols, meanwhile, could earn a role pending Doug Martin‘s eventual martin, although the Boise State product is recovering from surgery.

Pauline’s Latest: Cowboys, Pats, Redskins

Alabama’s Cam Robinson now appears likely to become the first offensive lineman off the 2017 draft board, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Initially viewed as one of several potential Round 1 tackle options along with Utah’s Garett Bolles and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk, Robinson’s combine workout reportedly intrigued NFL clubs and proved that he could man left tackle in the pro game. Indeed, there’s been an “uptick” in the amount of teams traveling to Tuscaloosa to meet with Robinson over the past few weeks, per Pauline. Also working in Pauline’s favor is that he’s still only 21 years old, while Bolles — for example — will be 25 when the 2017 campaign gets underway.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • The Cowboys have a first-round grade on USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, and also like Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley an “awful lot,” reports Pauline. Jackson may be available for Dallas at pick No. 28, and he’d likely be immediately inserted into the club’s starting lineup after the Cowboys lost both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne during the free agent period. The former Trojan would also add value as a dynamic special teams maven. In 2016, Jackson averaged 29.5 yards on kick returns and scored two touchdowns, and posted 15.8 yards per punt return (and scored twice more).
  • Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis has drawn the interest of both the Colts and Redskins, per Pauline. Meanwhile, multiple teams have Davis slotted as a Day 1 pick, while some clubs even have him rated as a top-20 selection (it’s unclear if Indianapolis and Washington are indeed those teams). Davis is expected to be the second off-ball linebacker selected this week (following Alabama’s Reuben Foster) after posting a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump at his Pro Day.
  • The Cowboys hosted Florida safety Marcus Maye last week, and Maye is also receiving “a ton of interest” from the Saints, Cardinals, and Patriots, according to Pauline. Originally viewed as a mid-round pick, Maye is now moving off draft boards and could be selected by the middle of Round 2. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares the Florida senior to Detroit defensive back Glover Quin, noting Maye’s “rangy” tackling ability and “ready-made safety frame.”
  • While the Patriots currently aren’t slated to make a selection until pick No. 72 (early third round), New England is expected to make a move into the second round via some “maneuver,” says Pauline. Originally, the Patriots could have traded up through a Malcolm Butler deal, but the veteran cornerback is now expected to stay put in New England.

AFC East Rumors: Pats, Ramczyk, Bills, Fins

James White‘s three-year extension with the Patriots is worth $12MM, but can max out at $15MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. White, 25, picks up $4.69MM in guaranteed money, which likely means his $690K base salary for 2017 is now fully guaranteed. A hero of New England’s Super Bowl LI victory, White rushed only 16 times is 2016 and did most of his work through the air. On 86 targets, White managed 60 receptions for 551 yards and five touchdowns.

Here’s more from New England and the rest of the AFC East:

  • The Patriots hosted Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk on Tuesday, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Offensive line is something of an underrated long-term need area for New England, especially given that incumbent left tackle Nate Solder is entering the final year of his contract. As such, the Patriots could look to secure a successor on the left side, although Ramczyk probably won’t be an option for New England unless it trades up (the Pats currently don’t have a pick until the third round). Ramczyk is viewed as one of the draft’s best tackle prospects along with Utah’s Garett Bolles and Alabama’s Cam Robinson.
  • Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly visited the Bills on Monday, reports Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Kelly, the nephew of Bills legend Jim Kelly, is considered a Day 3 prospect thanks a multitude of injury concerns and off-field issues. After recovering quickly from a ACL tear, Kelly underwent wrist surgery in early April and won’t be able to throw for three months. Buffalo may be looking for a developmental quarterback in this year’s draft, as Tyrod Taylor‘s new contract doesn’t tie him to Buffalo for long.
  • The Dolphins visited with Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and Florida safety Marcus Maye this week, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. Tankersley is expected to come off the board on Day 2, and Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares him to Cincinnati’s Dre Kirkpatrick. Maye, too, is thought to be a Round 2 or 3 selection, but Eric Galko of the Sporting News, for one, calls Maye a darkhorse first-rounder.