The NY Jets have reached an impasse with star safety Marcus Maye. Now that the extension deadline has passed, Maye is set to play the 2021 season on the franchise tag — something he clearly isn't too happy about.
That in and of itself wouldn't necessarily mean the Jets were going to move on from Maye at the end of the season. After all, players who were tagged get extended the following offseason all the time.
Rather, it's the way the negotiations went down and how far apart the two sides appear to be that leads many to believe the writing is on the wall.
Even if Maye isn't in the Jets' long-term plans, he's still under contract for the 2021 season. They have options as they decide how to navigate this tricky situation.
The simplest option would just be to let Maye play out his contract and reassess the situation in the offseason. That's fine and a very possible option, but it still seems unlikely that either side budges enough to make a long-term extension work.
It's not impossible, just seemingly improbable at this very moment.
That means the Jets have three options. Let him walk in free agency, place the tag on him again and ship him away to the highest bidder, or act proactively and trade him either before the season starts or before the deadline.
If the Jets want to recoup assets, trading Maye makes the most sense (provided he's not in their long-term plans).
But which teams make the most sense as possible trade partners? We take a look at four worthy candidates.