What could the NY Jets get in a potential Marcus Maye trade?

NY Jets, Marcus Maye
NY Jets, Marcus Maye / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets and Marcus Maye appear destined for a split. Whether that split happens before the trade deadline or in the offseason remains uncertain.

But it seems highly unlikely that Maye is a member of the Jets roster at the start of the 2022 season.

The standout safety remains embroiled in trade rumors leading up to the trade deadline which falls on November 2 this year. Maye is one of the top names expected to be available.

If the Jets were to trade Maye, what exactly could they expect the return to be? It's a difficult question to answer given how many variables are in the equation, but let's do our best to analyze the situation.

What might the NY Jets receive in a Marcus Maye trade?

Maye remains one of the better safeties in the NFL, likely a top-10 (or better) player at his position. On the field, Maye is at his best as a ranging center-field safety, although he's proven over the last year that he could do just about anything a team asks him to do.

He can line up in the slot, match up against tight ends, or play in a single-high role. Maye can do it all, but the Jets will never get close to fair value in a trade given the external factors at play.

The first and most prevalent is his contract situation. Not only is Maye on the final year of his contract, but he's playing under the franchise tag which pays him roughly $10.6 million in 2021.

The Jets would need to find a trade partner willing and able to take on at least a sizable chunk of that salary to make this work. That not only limits their potential suitors, but it lessens his value.

You're trading for not only Maye, but a large financial burden. There's a reason someone like Stephon Gilmore just got traded for a future sixth-round pick.

On top of that, there's the whole issue of Maye's legal situation. Maye was arrested for a DUI back in February with the news of his arrest only reaching the Jets and the media this month.

He won't miss any time this year because of it, but there's a very good chance he faces fines and a possible suspension next season. Any team looking to acquire Maye as more than a half-year rental will have to take that into account.

That leaves us with a talented (but not superstar) safety on a sizable contract with off-field baggage. While Jets fans may be hoping to receive a Day 2 pick for Maye's services, that's probably wishful thinking.

At this stage, the absolute best the Jets could probably do would be a fourth or fifth-round pick. And again, even that might be a little too optimistic.

Could the NY Jets get a compensatory draft pick for Marcus Maye?

Many might ask why the Jets would even trade Maye at that point. Why not let him walk in free agency and pick up a 2023 compensatory pick?

The problem with that is the Jets would likely never receive that compensatory draft pick. Teams only receive draft pick compensation if the value of the free agents they lose is greater than the value of the free agents they sign.

The Jets are expected to be pretty active in free agency and, aside from Maye, there won't be very many high-value free agents they let walk. The Jets are almost surely not going to qualify for compensatory picks making the potential Maye compensation worthless.

They're better off trading him for whatever value they could get, especially if they'd rather more playing time for a player like Ashtyn Davis who is still looking to solidify a future role on the team.

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Marcus Maye is the likeliest player on the NY Jets roster to be traded over the next few weeks for a reason. There just isn't a benefit for either side to keep him around for the rest of the season.