SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reported last week that “the smart and expected play” was for the Jets to place the franchise tag on Maye. He detailed why it makes sense and why the Jets are likely to do so.
Vacchiano also stated that “there’s no indication they’re close to [a long-term deal], at the moment.” A tag looks like the most likely outcome, and that would keep Maye in New York for at least another season.
The franchise tag does make a ton of sense for the Jets given their current situation.
Why tagging Marcus Maye makes sense for the NY Jets
The tag for a safety this year is set to be worth somewhere between $10 and $11 million, an incredibly affordable figure. That’s especially true when compared to some of the top safeties around the league.
A cap hit of $10-11 million would rank anywhere from eighth to 10th at the position giving Maye a very reasonable salary. And if the two sides were to attempt to work out a long-term contract extension, it’s likely that Maye would demand significantly more per season.
As Vacchiano pointed out, most top safeties who are receiving new contracts are receiving upward to $14 million per year. Maye is a very good player coming off the best season of his career, but is he worth that kind of money?
The Jets might not think so.
On top of that, it’s unlikely that Maye would take any kind of hometown discount. The Jets are sitting on what might amount to over $80 million in cap space after roster cuts take place. Maye is realistically the only significant player they need to re-sign.
He’s one of the most talented and valuable players on a roster starved for talent. He isn’t taking discounts — if anything it would be quite the opposite. Marcus Maye knows his worth.
If Maye comes out in 2021 and puts together another spectacular season as he did in 2020, the two sides will revisit contract extension talks again. And maybe then Maye will get the long-term deal he deserves.
But as for this offseason, it seems as though all signs point to the franchise tag. For the Jets, it’s hard to argue that’s the wrong move.