The New York Jets have franchise-tagged veteran safety Marcus Maye, per a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jets placed franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
Under the tag, the Jets can see how or if Maye fits in the new system installed under new head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. The Jets, already blessed with about $68 million in 2021 cap space entering this month (second-best in the NFL), earned an extra $8.2 million back upon the release of three-year defensive lineman Henry Anderson.
Saleh spoke highly of what Maye had to offer when the former was introduced as the Jets’ new head coach in January.
“I know (general manager Joe Douglas) holds him in very high regard,” Saleh said, per notes from the Jets. “I know he’s got a tremendous reputation in the locker room and so being able to get on the tape and just study him and see how he fits and where. From my understanding, he’s a very, very, very talented young man. And within our scheme, safeties are, obviously, they’re important to everybody, but with how we do things, it sounds like he’d be a very versatile piece.”
The tagging of Maye is the first time the Jets have made the transaction since they did so to defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016. Wilkerson later signed a long-term contract at five-years and $86 million, but he was released in 2018 before ending his career in Green Bay.
Maye took on an expanded role on the Jets’ defense last season after fellow 2017 draftee Jamal Adams was dealt to Seattle. He would go on to earn career-bests with 88 tackles, and a pair of interceptions, sacks, and forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the fourth-best graded safety in football (82.9), as well as the 22nd-best free-agent-to-be.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags