The NY Jets have officially placed the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye, per a report from Adam Schefter. Thus, the Jets have locked up one of their defensive cornerstones for at least another season.
The tag is expected to be worth around $10.5 million which will make Maye the ninth-highest paid safety in the NFL.
In a normal year, the franchise tag would essentially guarantee a player a top-five salary. But with the salary cap shrinking, the tag figures did as well. That’s why this move was a no-brainer for general manager Joe Douglas.
Maye is one of the Jets’ best overall players and the plan could still be to keep him long-term. But using the tag allows the Jets to retain him at a cheaper price tag than what he would have likely asked for on a long-term deal.
The NY Jets are keeping one of their best players in Marcus Maye
After three seasons of solid play, Maye broke out in 2020 and put together the best year of his career. In the absence of Jamal Adams, Maye finished with career-highs in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, QB hits, forced fumbles, passes defended, and interceptions.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old finished as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 5 overall safety with an elite PFF grade of 82.9. His standout performance helped him earn four All-Pro votes — the most of any Jets player.
Maye was, by all accounts, one of the best safeties in football in 2020. And on an abysmal Jets team, he was one of the few shining lights of hope.
Aside from being one of their most consistent on-field performers, Maye was a highly-regarded locker room leader and captain. He is one of their most valuable players, and now he’s being paid as such.
The Jets will revisit a long-term extension with their star safety next season, perhaps to the chagrin of Maye and his agent. Erik Burkhardt, Maye’s agent, recently expressed his displeasure with the Jets on social media when it became apparent that the franchise tag was in play.
Maye hasn’t said anything publicly to this point, but there’s likely some dissatisfaction from his camp. However, provided everything goes according to plan, Maye will be back in green and white in 2021.
The first and most obvious domino of the Jets’ offseason has fallen. Marcus Maye remains with the Jets.