NY Jets: Marcus Maye has earned a contract extension

NY Jets, Marcus Maye (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Marcus Maye (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ safety Marcus Maye has earned himself a contract extension.

The NY Jets’ defense hasn’t been a topic of conversation when comparing it to some of the top units around the league, but one player has been highlighted as a bright spot throughout this dismal season.

Fourth-year safety Marcus Maye has been playing at a career-high level so far this season. With four games left to go in the regular season, Maye still has time to showcase his innate ability to make plays that fans have been riding on ever since he entered the league back in 2017.

Maye, like many other defensive backs around the NFL, makes his living through tackles, pass defenses, and interceptions. Although, one facet of Maye’s game that isn’t mentioned all that much is his ability to consistently wreak havoc near and around the line of scrimmage.

When the Jets traded star safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a haul of draft capital, they surely had Marcus Maye in the back of their minds.

Maye has showcased what many didn’t think he was capable of since entering the league four years ago. In Week 1 against Buffalo, Maye took it upon himself to roam the line of scrimmage.

By the time that game concluded, Maye collected two sacks, a new season career-high tallied in one outing.

The NY Jets have seen Marcus Maye thrive in his natural free safety position

Since that Week 1 tilt, Maye returned to his natural position of free safety. Where, through 12 games, he has totaled 61 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, nine pass deflections, and one interception.

This statistical line may not be an all-time great one, but Maye has surely improved with the defensive focus shifting to him since Adams’ departure. Maye has been a silent leader since the Jets embarked on this ever-so-strange 2020 season.

He may not be all that vocal, but his leadership clearly resonates with many inside the Jets’ locker room, and those players would surely be upset to see Maye hit the open market if a contract extension isn’t presented to him come the offseason.

Maye is currently Pro Football Focus‘ fourth-highest graded safety this year with a near-elite 79.4 overall grade — on pace for a career year.

Next. NY Jets: 5 most likely trade partners for Sam Darnold

General manager Joe Douglas shouldn’t let a player of Maye’s caliber hit free agency, even if it means eclipsing a number that he thinks fits Maye’s pay grade.