The Jets’ contract negotiations for their safety are becoming more tense. Does this ring a bell?
The Jets are facing criticism from the agent for Marcus Maye, who is set to enter free agency on March 17, a year after a contract dispute with Jamal Adams led to his trade to the Seahawks. Joe Douglas, the Jets’ general manager, claimed in January that re-signing Maye is a top priority, but he has yet to do so, and free agency is approaching. Many in the league assume the Jets will use the franchise tag on Maye before the deadline on Tuesday. That would pay him about $11 million in 2021, but it would not provide him with long-term stability.
Maye’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, expressed his displeasure with the Jets on Twitter on Tuesday night. Burkhardt replied to ESPN reporter Field Yates’ tweet that the Jets will have $80 million in cap room and five first-round picks over the next three drafts, allowing them to pursue any player they want through free agency or trade.
“Yet they fail to take care of their best player, Captain, and team-voted MVP in his prime who earned many All-Pro votes…” Burkhardt responded. and who completed his rookie contract and also switched positions during his contract year (after the team released last year’s All-Pro safety).”
Burkhardt ended his tweet with an emoji of a peace sign. Maye is the Jets’ top unrestricted free agent. It’s unclear how much Maye wants to be charged or what the Jets are willing to sell.
Maye was the team’s MVP in 2020, according to Burkhardt. He had a fantastic year bouncing back and forth between strong safety and his natural place of free safety. Maye had two interceptions, 11 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and two sacks on the season.
After the Jets’ humiliating Raiders defeat, Marcus Maye demonstrated his leadership.
Maye also emerged as a leader, which he demonstrated following the team’s humiliating loss to the Raiders in December. Maye attributed the game-winning touchdown to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who called an all-out blitz that allowed Derek Carr to connect with Henry Ruggs. The next day, Williams was fired, and Maye was praised by teammates for standing up for an undrafted rookie.
The next day, Williams was fired, and Maye was lauded by teammates for sticking up for undrafted rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson, who was outplayed by Ruggs on the play.
If the Jets use the franchise tag on Maye, which seems to be the most likely scenario, the two parties have until July 15 to reach an agreement or Maye will be forced to play the rest of the season on the tag. Maye was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he was paired with Adams, the team’s first-round selection. Maye now finds himself in a similar situation to Adams last season, with the team refusing to give him the deal he wants.