Marcus Maye

Jets S Marcus Maye Discusses Extension Negotiations

The Jets slapped safety Marcus Maye with the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but the two sides couldn’t agree on an extension during the ensuing negotiations. When asked about the stalled discussions and a lack of a long-term deal, Maye admitted that he stopped thinking about it once training camp started.

“Once that was over with, I just put it to the side and got back to the basics of playing football,” he said (via Jack Bell of the team’s website). “Once I get on the grass I never worry about anything else.”

Fortunately for the Jets, Maye seems to be prioritizing his on-field status over his salary. When asked if winning or salary was more important, the defensive back made it clear that it’s the former.

“Winning games is first, that’s what you play the game for,” Maye said. “Also taking care of your family and making sure you’re set up for the future. Control the controllables. If you have no control over something, there’s no point in getting all upset. If you’re not here to win games, then what are you doing this for?”

Entering his fifth NFL season, Maye is the longest-tenured Jets player on the roster. The former second-round pick has started each of his 54 games in the NFL, and that includes 32-straight starts between 2019 and 2020. Last season, the 28-year-old finished with a career-high 88 tackles to go along with two sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. He’s expected to start alongside Lamarcus Joyner at safety.

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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.

AFC East Notes: Waddle, Wilson, Jets, Pats

Jaylen Waddle missed most of his senior season at Alabama due to a broken ankle. While that injury occurred back in October, the top-10 pick does not appear to have fully recovered. Waddle’s ankle remains an issue at Dolphins camp, according to Adam Beasley of the Pro Football Network. Some with the Dolphins do not believe the No. 6 overall pick has regained his full explosiveness just yet, Beasley adds. The former Tua Tagovailoa Tuscaloosa weapon has walked with a limp during training camp but has gone through practices, avoiding a stay on Miami’s active/PUP list. Although the Dolphins have three first-round wideouts on their roster, with free agent pickup Will Fuller joining DeVante Parker, Waddle is the highest-drafted receiver in team history.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Jets making Zach Wilson the last of this year’s 259 draftees to sign is not especially surprising, given the timing of the sides’ negotiations. The Jets did not begin negotiating with the No. 2 overall pick until last week, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (on Twitter). Gang Green wanted Wilson to defer $6MM of his signing bonus to 2022, but when the team agreed to pay it all this year, Wilson flew to the Big Apple. While payment schedule was an issue for Wilson’s camp, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes offset language was the top concern for the quarterback. Once the Jets agreed to pay out his bonus within 15 days, however, the BYU product caved on offsets, which are present in his deal.
  • Marcus Maye and the Jets never came close on a deal ahead of the franchise tag extension deadline, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. With a Maye tag in 2022 costing the Jets $12.7MM, Cimini expects this season to be it for Maye with the team. The Jets appear intent on gauging Maye’s fit in Robert Saleh‘s defense, but the timing here may well lead Maye elsewhere next year. Maye and Jamal Adams started together for three seasons on Gang Green’s back line. It is now looking likely each will have passed through before receiving a big payday with another team.
  • Two-year incumbent Sam Ficken and rookie UDFA Chris Naggar are vying for the Jets’ kicker job, but the team held a workout recently at this position. Matthew McCraneMatt Ammendola and Haidar Zaidan worked out for the team this week, Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 tweets. Of the three, McCrane is the only one to kick in an NFL game. And that came back in 2018.
  • The Patriots received a slight boost in their salary cap space this week. Patrick Chung‘s retirement being officially processed created $891K in cap space for the Pats, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed tweets. Chung opted out last season but announced his retirement in March. New England currently carries just more than $13MM in cap space.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Waived: DE Nick Coe, LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

  • Signed: TE David Wells

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Marcus Maye Pulls Offer Off Table, No Deal With Jets Likely

Well it looks like we have our answer to another one of the unextended franchise tagged players. It does not appear safety Marcus Maye will be getting a new contract from the Jets before the July 15th deadline.

The team has not responded to the latest proposal from Maye’s camp, and Maye has now pulled that offer off the table, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). “No deal is expected,” Rapsheet adds. That would seem to conflict with the Jets’ stance from May that they were “working relentlessly” to get a deal done.

A source also told Rapoport that “negotiations went south weeks before the tag deadline” after New York offered a contract that had an average annual value “about 20% below even the tag amount for 2021.” No wonder he rejected it. Maye is currently set to make about $10.6MM playing under the tag this season. 

We heard a couple of weeks ago that the Florida product could be looking for a deal with an AAV of around $14MM, while the Jets viewed the deal John Johnson got from the Browns ($11.25MM AAV over three years) as a better comp.

Rapoport says that Maye understandably turned down the Jets’ offer, and “had significantly more in APY and guarantees from multiple teams heading into FA.” It sounds like he’s content to now play out this season in New York, and look to cash in with one of those other team’s in next year’s free agency.

Drafted 39th overall in 2017, Maye has never made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, but was graded as the league’s fifth-best safety in 2020 by Pro Football Focus.

The 28-year-old was productive last season, finishing with 88 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, 11 passes defended, and two interceptions. He’s started all 54 games that he’s appeared in over his four years with the Jets.

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Status Of 7 Remaining Franchise-Tagged Players

Ten players comprised this year’s franchise tag contingent — down from 14 in 2020. However, the Broncos, Cowboys and Giants reached extension agreements with their tagged players — Justin Simmons, Dak Prescott and Leonard Williams, respectively — to leave seven tag recipients unsigned entering July.

With the July 15 deadline to extend franchise-tagged players less than two weeks away, here is where things stand with the remaining members of the group:

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

Rather than tag Shaquil Barrett for a second straight year, the Bucs cuffed Godwin at $15.9MM. The defending Super Bowl champions found room for Barrett and every other notable free agent they had this offseason, going into overdrive in their effort to defend their second championship. Like every other franchise-tagged player this year, Godwin has signed his tender. The former third-round pick has said he wants to stay in Tampa long-term. The Bucs have Mike Evans signed to a now-below-market deal ($16.5MM per year), so it will be interesting to see how they navigate negotiations with his less accomplished (but three years younger, at 25) sidekick.

S Marcus Maye, Jets

Tagged months after the Jets traded Jamal Adams, Maye has not exactly enjoyed a smooth negotiating process. Just before the Jets tagged Maye, his agent slammed the team for a lackluster effort to extend the four-year starter beforehand. The Jets have carried on negotiations since applying the tag and are believed to have been steadfast in this approach, but this has not necessarily translated to progress. These talks are expected to go down to the wire. Maye, 28, not signing an extension by July 15 would keep the Mike Maccagnan-era draft choice on the $10.6MM tag.

OT Taylor Moton, Panthers

While the Panthers’ left tackle position has been one of the toughest to fill over the past decade, Moton has locked down the team’s right tackle post. A 2017 second-round pick, Moton has not missed a game since debuting in Carolina’s lineup in Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Panthers have a new regime in place, but the Matt RhuleScott Fitterer duo hopes to extend Moton.

The right tackle market moved this week, with Ryan Ramczyk agreeing to a $19.2MM-per-year extension. Moton, 26, is not a candidate to top that, but he may be primed to fill the gap between the top tier (Ramczyk and $18MM-AAV Lane Johnson) and Jack Conklin‘s $14MM-AAV deal. Moton is attached to a $13.8MM franchise tender.

WR Allen Robinson, Bears

Tagged at a higher price ($17.98MM) than Godwin because of his previous contract, Robinson has been the Bears’ No. 1 option on offense for the past three years. This has not translated to harmony between he and the team. Robinson has expressed frustration with the Bears’ tactics during his lengthy extension talks, which date back to last year, and he at one point surfaced in trade rumors.

This will be the eighth-year veteran’s age-28 season. A long-term Robinson deal would pair well with Justin Fields‘ rookie contract, with no other Bears receiver making even midlevel money, but the former third-round pick did not sound especially confident a deal will be finalized by the deadline.

OT Cam Robinson, Jaguars

This might be the closest to a “prove it” tag in this year’s lot. The former second-round pick has recovered from the ACL tear that cost him 14 games in 2018, starting 30 over the past two seasons. But Robinson, 25, has yet to show he is among the better players at the left tackle position. Without a viable replacement lined up, the Jaguars tagged the Alabama alum at $13.8MM. It would make sense for the Urban Meyer regime to gauge Robinson’s contract-year performance and reassess the matter next year. Holding the most cap space in the NFL ($38MM), the Jags can afford to carry Robinson’s tag figure this season.

G Brandon Scherff, Washington

Washington and its top offensive lineman have been at this for a while. A 2015 first-round pick, Scherff has been eligible for an extension since the 2017 season ended. Instead, Washington has seen another tag situation near the point of no return. The four-time Pro Bowl guard has played on the fifth-year option and the franchise tag, pushing this year’s tag price to $18MM. A third tag is unrealistic, as the Kirk Cousins standoff showed, and no deal this month would push Scherff toward free agency in 2022. The team wants to extend the 29-year-old blocker, but it will almost certainly take a guard-record agreement to do so. Joe Thuney raised the position’s ceiling with a $16MM-AAV deal in March.

S Marcus Williams, Saints

The Saints’ salary cap tightrope walk included a $10.6MM Williams tag, completing an odyssey that began with the team $100MM-plus over this year’s reduced cap. With New Orleans already doing the rare fifth-year option restructure with Marshon Lattimore, a Williams extension would be the easiest way to create more cap room. The team checked the top item off its offeseason to-do list, the Ramcyzk extension, but it may well have either a Lattimore or Williams re-up in its near-future plans.

Part of New Orleans’ impact 2017 draft class, the 24-year-old safety has been a starter from Day 1. Even though Lattimore may be a higher extension priority, the team coming all the way back from $100MM over the cap to use a franchise tag illustrates its view of Williams’ work.

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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.

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Marcus Maye To Join Jets’ Minicamp

Marcus Maye will be on hand for the start of the Jets’ three-day minicamp (Twitter link via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano). It’s a promising sign for Gang Green and their star safety, who is pushing for a new deal. 

The Jets cuffed Maye earlier this year with a franchise tender worth $10.61MM. Meanwhile, he wants an extension (and a sizable pay bump). There’s mutual interest there, but there’s been little news on that front in recent months. Even though Maye might be frustrated with the progress, he won’t hold out during the mandatory period.

The Jets drafted two safeties — Auburn’s Jamien Sherwood in Round 5 and Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen in Round 6 — in April. Meanwhile, there’s also 2020 third-round pick Ashtyn Davis and veteran Lamarcus Joyner, who is shifting from cornerback back to safety. The Jets needed the depth, but they’re also bracing themselves for the possibility of life without Maye.

Maye’s asking price jumped this year when the Broncos made Justin Simmons the NFL’s first $15MM-per-year safety. Several other safeties are also signed to deals worth $14MM+ per year. Maye has yet to make a Pro Bowl, but he graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 safety last season. He also has youth on his side, having just turned 28.

Maye, a four-year starter for the Jets, finished last year with 88 stops, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

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Jets Working On Marcus Maye Extension

The Jets drafted Ashtyn Davis in the 2020 third round and are moving recent acquisition Lamarcus Joyner back to safety, where he has fared best as a pro. But the team used its franchise tag on Marcus Maye. Robert Saleh does not want that transaction to precede Maye departing in 2022.

Saleh said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini) he spoke with Maye before the offseason program started and that the Jets’ front office is “working relentlessly” to hammer out an extension for the fifth-year safety.

Joe Douglas said earlier this week keeping Maye in the fold long-term was a priority. Although, the third-year GM previously viewed Jamal Adams as a cornerstone piece; and Maye’s agent made noise earlier this year by voicing frustration about the team’s lack of progress on an extension. The Jets also drafted two safeties — Auburn’s Jamien Sherwood in Round 5 and Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen in Round 6 — this year.

Maye’s arrival precedes Douglas’, with previous Jets GM Mike Maccagnan selecting the Florida alum in the 2017 second round. While Adams received greater accolades during their run together, Maye has been a four-year starter. Saleh did not express any concerns about Maye being a fit for his system. The former 49ers DC appears to be envisioning a Maye-Joyner back-line tandem, Cimini adds. Joyner came over from the Raiders, who cut him after stationing him at slot cornerback for two seasons.

The Broncos further raised the bar for this position this offseason, making Justin Simmons the NFL’s first $15MM-per-year safety. Five other safeties are signed to deals worth at least $14MM per year annually. While Maye has yet to make a Pro Bowl, he is undoubtedly shooting for a contract in this range. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 safety last season. The Jets have until July 15 to finalize an extension, or Maye will play the season on the $10.6MM safety tag.

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Jets To Ramp Up Negotiations With Marcus Maye

The Jets put the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye back in March, and Maye signed his franchise tender, which locks him into a $10.61MM salary for 2021. However, player and team have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract, and as Brian Costello of the New York Post writes, GM Joe Douglas expects those negotiations to pick up now that the draft is over.

“It’s still a priority to keep Marcus here long-term,” Douglas said. “We have had productive texts back and forth with his agent. We’re hoping to really dive into this now that the draft’s over.”

Douglas has said all along that keeping Maye in the fold is a priority. But in March, Maye’s agent went public with his disappointment as to how contract talks had played out to that point, and in light of last summer’s Jamal Adams trade, there was some chatter that Douglas simply wasn’t prepared to pay big money for a safety.

Obviously, the fact that talks will resume is no guarantee that a deal gets done, especially if Maye is determined to land a top-of-the-market deal (meaning an AAV of $14MM-$15MM). Still, he is young enough and good enough to be a foundational piece of Douglas’ rebuild, which Jets fans hope was kicked into high-gear with this week’s selection of quarterback Zach Wilson.

In 2020, Pro Football Focus graded Maye as its No. 5 overall safety. The former second-rounder also finished the season with career-highs across the board, including 88 tackles, two sacks, two picks, and 11 passes defended.

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