Marcus Maye’s agent stirs the pot
Shortly after it was announced that New York Jets safety Marcus Maye would miss three to four weeks with an ankle injury, rumors about Maye’s future with the team began to swirl thanks to a social media post coming out of Maye’s corner.
In response to the news of Maye’s recovery timetable, Maye’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, shared a tweet that read, “Should be back fully healthy just before the trade deadline…”
Should be back fully healthy just before the trade deadline… 🤝 https://t.co/7AADZwgLAy
— Erik Burkhardt (@ErikBurkhardt) September 29, 2021
Maye is playing the 2021 season on the franchise tag, which will pay him $10.6 million this season. There were discussions between him and the team on a new contract during the offseason, but those talks did not prove fruitful.
“From my end, I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t satisfied,” Maye said in July regarding the contract negotiations with the Jets.
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According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Jets offered Maye a deal that would pay him 20% less per year than the 2021 tag amount for safeties ($10.6 million, which is what he will earn this year on the franchise tag). Maye turned down the offer and apparently had offers from multiple teams that promised him significantly more money.
Source adds: Negotiations went south weeks before the tag deadline when the #Jets offered Maye a deal that had an APY about 20% below even the tag amount for 2021. Maye turned down NYJ's offer & had significantly more in APY and guarantees from multiple teams heading into FA. https://t.co/8vkKkdObiy
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 13, 2021
Maye had established himself as one of the NFL’s most productive free safeties from 2019-20. In 2020, he tied for third among safeties in passes defended (11) and graded out as the fourth-best safety in the NFL at Pro Football Focus (82.9 overall grade).
Throughout the first three games of the 2021 season, Maye had been playing strong safety. The position switch has not proven beneficial for him, as he currently owns a career-low overall PFF grade of 58.0, is tied for fifth among safeties in missed tackles (4), and is allowing a career-high 24.7 yards per game through the air.
The Jets had Maye playing strong safety over the first five weeks of the 2020 season after Jamal Adams’ exit and watched him struggle through similar woes. He posted a 62.2 overall PFF grade, was third among safeties in missed tackles (7), and gave up 26.0 receiving yards per game.
New York moved Maye back to free safety in Week 6 and he produced at a top-notch level over the rest of the season. It seems clear by now that he is a much better fit for the free safety position.
The 2021 NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. ET.