Jets option Marcus Maye as NFL free agency approaches

The Jets have something on their off-to-do list that hasn’t been there in a while. With safety Marcus Mae to hit free agency, the Jets have a high-profile player they need to re-sign or use the franchise.

Mey, who will turn 28 next month, was the MVP of the Jets in 2020 and was one of his few impact players. It is the first time since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016 that the Jets have reported one of their top players to hit the open market. This is a sign of how poorly he has drafted in the last decade and is the result of taking away other top talent such as Jamal Adams, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams rather than awarding long-term contracts.

Maye has said he wants to be with the Jets and, last month, general manager Joe Douglas made it a priority to re-sign him. Before free agency began on March 17, both sides could reach a deal or Douglas could exercise the franchise over them.

The tag players’ window opened on Tuesday 9. runs until March. The salary cap has not yet been set, so the exact franchise tag number is unknown, but Over the Cap estimates the tag for Safari to be $ 11.2 million. This would be a fair number for Maye, who was rated the fifth best safety in the NFL last year by the PFF.

This is also a number the Jets can afford. They are estimated to be close to $ 70 million in salary cap space and that number may increase with some reductions.

Jet wants to shut down Marcus Maye for the long term
Jet wants to close Marcus Maye for the long term
Corey Sipkin

If Douglas applies the tag to Maye, both sides will have until July 15 to make a long-term contract or Maye will play the 2021 on the tag. The Jets have not used the franchise tag since 2016, when they used it on Wilkerson before signing a long-term contract in July.

While tagging Maye would be a short-term solution, the goal should still be to sign him long-term. Douglas could send a message to the locker room that the Jets would take care of their players who play well and handle themselves like professionals off the field. The Jets did a terrible job of procuring talent and then they prevented some good players from going out. Allowing Robbie Anderson to walk as a free agent last year was a mistake, Douglas has admitted. At least in the case of Adams, Williams and Richardson, the team found something in the trades for them.

Maye established himself as one of the Jets’ top players last season, with Adams no longer on his side. He moved between strong and free defenses, and played well at both places. He also emerged as a leader in the locker room. His remarks after the loss to the Raiders, who were blamed for the last-second defeat on the coaches and not Rocky cornerback Lamar Jackson, who were beaten by Henry Ruggs for the winning touchdown, resonated with the organization. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams was fired the following day.

“I know who holds [Maye] In very high regard, ”new Jets coach Robert Saleh said in his introductory press conference last month. “I know he’s got a tremendous reputation in the locker room and so he’s able to come on tape and just study it and see how and where he fits in. I think, he’s a very, very Talented is young. And within our plan, there are safaris, obviously they are important to everyone, but how we work seems like it would be a very versatile piece. “

Exactly the kind of long-term contract Maye is seeking is unknown. The top safeties averaged over $ 14 million each season. Cardinals Bud Baker’s top contract is $ 14.75 million per year. Mayes probably won’t reset the market, but they should be in the neighborhood of $ 13 million- $ 14 million a year. If someone like Justin Simmons of Broncos gets this offseason and he resets the safety market, or if the Seahawks expand their old friend, Adams, and raise the number for Safari, he will make up to $ 15 million Can also reach.

“Obviously, I love it here. I am comfortable here. “But that decision is not up to me. I can only control what I can control. “

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