Marcus Maye

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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Jets S Marcus Maye Accepts Franchise Tender

Marcus Maye is sticking around New York via the franchise tag. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the safety has accepted his franchise tender, locking him in to a $10.61MM deal.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to play the 2021 season on that franchise value. Rather, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Maye’s camp will continue working with the Jets towards a long-term deal.

Following the the Jamal Adams trade, Maye became the centerpiece of the Jets secondary. The former second-rounder ultimately broke through with the best season of his career; Pro Football Focus graded the former second-round pick as its No. 5 overall safety. Maye also finished the season with career-highs across the board, including 88 tackles, two sacks, two picks, and 11 passes defended.

With this signing, each of the nine players who were slapped with the franchise tag have either accepted the tender or signed an extension.

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NFL Sets $182.5MM Salary Cap

The NFL salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). This marks a sizable (though expected) drop from last year’s $198.2MM limit.

Teams will not be allowed to borrow cap room from future years, per the CBA, so teams are basically stuck with the hard cap and difficult choices ahead. However, teams do have other ways to navigate the cap, including rollover from 2020, post-June 1 cuts, and contract restructuring.

With the new salary cap, the league has also determined the values of this year’s franchise tag tenders (Twitter link):

  • Quarterback $25.104MM
  • Running Back $8.655MM
  • Tight End $9.601MM
  • Offensive Lineman $13.754MM
  • Defensive End $16.069MM
  • Defensive Tackle $13.888M
  • Linebacker $14.791M
  • Cornerback $15.06MM
  • Kicker/Punter $4.482MM

Here’s the full rundown of this year’s franchise tags, including players on repeat tags who receive a 20% increase:

New York Notes: Giants, Maye, Bills

Unless the NFL moves the franchise tag deadline back, the Giants have less than 24 hours to use their tag on Leonard Williams. Multiple issues could stand in the way of that taking place. While the Giants would be taking a risk if they do not tag the standout interior defender, they have less than $10MM in cap space. The Giants want to keep Williams around long-term, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, but they will have a tough time tagging him at $19.4MM. A counterargument would be that the Giants should tag Williams as a precaution, rather than risk losing him next week, and worry about cap issues between Tuesday and the March 17 start of the new league year. The sides were not believed to be close to a long-term deal last year. If the Giants pass on a tag, they will be entering a crucial stretch ahead of the March 15 legal tampering period. They also have defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson as a UFA-to-be.

However, the other part of this equation could cause the Giants to pay even more for a Williams tag. His grievance to be tagged as a defensive end is unresolved, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Should Williams win that grievance, his 2020 salary will balloon from $16.1MM (last year’s defensive tackle tag rate) to $17.8MM. That would bump his 2021 tag price to $21.4MM. Williams played more snaps as an inside defender in 2019, which would point to “defensive tackle” being the correct label for tag purposes. With the Giants up against the cap, this is not an insignificant difference.

Here is the latest from the Big Apple and western New York:

  • The Giants did do a little work on their cap situation Monday. They restructured tight end Levine Toilolo‘s contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The blocking tight end was set to earn $2.95MM next season. He will be back at a lower rate, with Schwartz estimating the Giants will save more than $1MM by making this move.
  • Recently dismissed from his post as Lions VP of player personnel, Kyle O’Brien will join the Giants’ front office. The Giants are adding O’Brien as a senior personnel executive, the team announced. O’Brien spent the past few years in Detroit under Bob Quinn, but the bulk of his experience came in New England.
  • As expected, Marcus Maye received the franchise tag. The Jets cuffed their top free agent Monday night. They now have until July 15 to work out an extension. Last week, Maye’s agent questioned Jets management’s commitment to his client. Citing last year’s Jamal Adams saga, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini wonders if GM Joe Douglas is not high on paying big money for safeties. The Jets also selected Ashtyn Davis in the 2020 third round. Maye, however, is by far Gang Green’s most proven defensive back and can push for a high-end safety contract.
  • Although the Bills have Dawson Knox under contract through 2022, they may be looking to upgrade at tight end. Buffalo is likely to add a veteran soon, via free agency or trade, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The Chargers could well tag Hunter Henry, and Jonnu Smith looms as a Titans tag candidate ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. Other available tight ends include Kyle Rudolph, Gerald Everett and likely Zach Ertz. The Eagles tight end has drawn trade inquiries and will almost certainly not be back in Philly next season.

Jets To Franchise Tag S Marcus Maye

The Jets will not let Marcus Maye hit the market. They are placing the franchise tag on their four-year safety starter, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Expected for a bit to be tagged, Maye will join Broncos standout Justin Simmons in being taken off the safety market. This comes a day ahead of this year’s spring deadline to designate franchise players.

Maye became the Jets’ secondary centerpiece last year, when the team traded Jamal Adams to the Seahawks. Maye broke through with the best season of his career; Pro Football Focus graded the former second-round pick as its No. 5 overall safety. The safety tag is expected to land in the $10-$11MM range.

Maye’s agent voiced concerns about the Jets’ negotiations with his client a few days ago, leading Joe Douglas to declare the team still has a plan to extend the Mike Maccagnan-era draft choice. The Jets will now have until July 15 to reach an extension agreement with Maye.

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Jets Planning Marcus Maye Extension

Marcus Maye‘s agent expressed disappointment in how the Jets were proceeding with his client Wednesday. Following that comment, Joe Douglas insists the team’s long-term plan includes the talented safety.

Acquired before Douglas took over as GM in 2019, Maye is due for free agency in two weeks. However, the Jets plan to use their franchise tag to keep Jamal Adams‘ former back-line safety partner. The Jets must do so by March 9 to keep Maye off the market.

We have had productive conversations with his reps. … Marcus is a valuable member of this organization,” Douglas said, via SNY. “Someone that started his career here, has been a pro’s pro. [He’s] smart; he’s been reliable and he’s provided outstanding leadership. Our plan hasn’t changed. We’re in the process of having Marcus here long-term.”

The pandemic’s effect on the 2021 salary cap is expected to produce a franchise tag figure that could drop as low as $10MM. Top safeties are now earning nearly $15MM on average, creating a notable gap. As recently as last season, Maye was targeting a deal in the $7MM-per-year range. Now a tag candidate, Maye likely will price himself much higher. Pro Football Focus graded Maye as its No. 5 overall safety in 2020.

Should the Jets tag Maye, they will have until July 15 to extend him this year. Maye is likely to join Denver’s Justin Simmons as safeties to receive the tag. This will keep to marquee free agents off an intriguing safety market, which could raise the price tags of other safeties on track for free agency. Marcus Williams, John Johnson, Anthony Harris and Keanu Neal reside atop that group.

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No Progress For Jets, Marcus Maye?

The Jets haven’t made much of an effort to re-sign Marcus Maye, according to his agent. In a hyper-direct tweet, Erik Burkhardt slammed the Jets for simultaneously slashing payroll and stalling in negotiations.

Yet [the Jets] refuse to take care of their best player, captain, and team-voted MVP in his prime who had several All-Pro votes,” Burkhardt tweeted. “And [Maye] played out his entire rookie deal and even changed positions [in] his contract year, after they got rid of last year’s All-Pro safety [Jamal Adams].

The Jets may choose to use the franchise tag on Maye between now and the March 9 deadline. With the expected salary cap drop, the franchise tag value for safeties will probably land at $10MM-$11MM. That doesn’t seem like a bad deal for either party, but Maye’s camp appears to be seeking a longer commitment. Also, it’s not a given that the Jets will actually use the tag on the Florida product.

Back in November, Maye was said to be seeking a $7MM/year deal. Now, after setting career-highs with 88 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and two sacks, Maye is aiming higher. A top of the market payday would mean something in the range of $14MM/year, though it’s hard to see him scoring that type of deal in this climate.

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Jets Expected To Use Franchise Tag On Marcus Maye

Multiple league sources recently told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv that they expect the Jets to hit safety Marcus Maye with the franchise tag. Teams have until March 9 to deploy the franchise and transition tags.

With the 2021 salary cap expected to fall between $180MM-$185MM, the franchise tag value for safeties will check in between $10MM-$11MM. That’s not an outrageous sum for a young and talented player like Maye, especially since New York has a ton of salary cap space but not many quality defensive players. And, although most impending free agents do not like being designated as a franchise player, the tag could benefit Maye this year.

The Florida product has played well throughout his first four seasons in the league, and he saved his best performance for his platform campaign. In 2020, his first year without former running mate Jamal Adams, Maye set career-highs in tackles (88), passes defensed (11), and sacks (2). He also intercepted two passes and graded out as the fifth-best safety in the game per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, which were especially fond of his coverage ability.

Nonetheless, several sources tell Vacchiano that Maye is not viewed as a top-tier safety just yet, and since the big money in this year’s free agent cycle might not trickle down past the top tier of talent due to the depressed salary cap, players like Maye may need to settle for one-year pacts in the hopes of a landing a lucrative long-term contract in 2022. Vacchiano says the soon-to-be 28-year-old will be eyeing a top-of-the-market deal (meaning an AAV of $14MM+), but he might have a hard time getting that type of money this year, so a $10MM-$11MM tag wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.

For what it’s worth, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com said back in November that Maye was eying a $7MM/year contract, though Maye surely values himself more highly than that at this point and would likely prefer to play out the season on the franchise tag rather than settle for a multi-year pact with a $7MM AAV (even if it came with a fair amount of guaranteed money).

As of now, there is no indication that Maye and the Jets are anywhere close to a long-term contract, but the franchise tag would buy them a few more months to find some middle ground in that regard.

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