Extension talks reportedly soured after the Jets offered Maye roughly 20 percent less per year than what his franchise tag figure, $10.6 million, was set to be this season.
And if that doesn't tell you where the Jets stand on this issue, nothing will. They have no intentions of extending Marcus Maye — at least not at his requested price tag.
Why the NY Jets are preparing to move on from Marcus Maye.
Regardless of what happens in the future, Marcus Maye is still under contract with the Jets for 2021. And in theory, they could place the tag on him again next offseason meaning that they do have some degree of leverage in this situation.
However, if they did place the tag on him for a second consecutive year, his salary would jump up to nearly $13 million in 2022. Given the Jets' reported offer, it seems unlikely that they would be willing to pay that much.
You also have to consider the negative effects of tagging Maye, someone who already isn't happy with his current situation, for a second time.
While the Jets could tag Maye again this offseason, it seems unlikely that the plan is for him to be on the roster in 2022. At least unless Maye agrees to take a significant discount to remain with the Jets.
And why would he?
Maye is a borderline top-10 safety who will make top-five money if on the open market. The Jets' reported offer would have made him the 16th-highest-paid player at his position. That's, quite frankly, disrespectful.
Also consider the fact that Maye will turn 29-years-old next March. This is his one opportunity to cash in big in free agency — it would foolish of him to accept anything less than an overpay from the Jets.
If the Jets don't spend big on Maye, another team will. He knows this. More importantly, his agent knows this. The problem, at least for those who want to keep Maye, is that the Jets aren't going to spend big on their star safety.
It just isn't the Joe Douglas way.
Douglas did hand out multiple large contracts this offseason, so it's not as if he's allergic to spending money. But when he does, he does so strategically with the goal of maximizing resources.
The Jets invested $45 million into one of the most important positions in football when they signed Carl Lawson. They doubled-down signing Corey Davis for $37.5 million to give their rookie quarterback his most accomplished pass catcher.
Both players were coming off career years. Each of them plays an important position. Neither is older than 26-years-old.
Douglas has no intentions of paying top dollar for a soon-to-be 29-year-old safety, despite what he's repeatedly said to the public. From a roster-building standpoint, it goes against everything he believes as a general manager.
Is it the right move? That's up for interpretation. But this is Douglas' mindset, and it's not going to change because of some leaked negotiation rumors and media pressure.
Joe Douglas doesn't bring his emotions into the negotiation room. For better or worse, he's an analytics-driven executive — and he's making a decision that makes sense from a business perspective.
But what harm does lowballing Maye cause? Does it set a bad precedent? After all, Maye is the longest-tenured member of the roster and has been a model teammate and locker room leader during his time with the organization.
Is this the way you want to treat a player like that? Again, while certainly a fair question to ask, it's just not something Douglas is concerned with.
The Jets aren't going to extend Marcus Maye. Not now. Not in six months. Probably not ever.
The question then becomes, do they let him walk or try to get something for him? And how do they go about adequately replacing him in the future?
Those are conversations that have been going on at One Jets Drive since January, and likely even earlier. The Jets knew this day would come despite claiming otherwise.
Marcus Maye will get his well-deserved payday. But don't expect it to be from the NY Jets.