Dolphins add veteran safety with 77 NFL starts

The Miami Dolphins intend to fortify one of the team’s thinnest positions before training camp arrives by signing veteran safety Marcus Maye.

According to a report from Jordan Schultz, the Dolphins intend to add Maye, a former second-round pick who has started all 77 games he has played for the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints in his seven-year career.

Where Maye fits into Miami’s secondary will likely depend on how he performs in practice come training camp, but the Baltimore Ravens-style defense new coordinator Anthony Weaver intends to install utilizes three safeties for roughly one-third of their plays last season.

Jevon Holland is entering his fourth season as Miami’s starting free safety, and is viewed as one of the team’s rising stars heading into a contract year.

Behind him is 12-year veterans Jordan Poyer, a former Pro Bowl talent the Dolphins added in free agency this offseason, Elijah Campbell, a converted cornerback who has been a special teams ace for the Dolphins the past two seasons. And Miami drafted California safety Patrick McMorris in the sixth round and signed Mark Perry and Jordan Colbert as rookie free agents this summer.

Cornerback Nik Needham, who has been with the Dolphins for the past five seasons, is also cross training, learning how to play safety, potentially to be used in the defensive back heavy nickel and dime packages.

Where Maye, 31, fits in depends on how well he performs in camp, and how he fits from a coverage standpoint in the Dolphins’ new-look defense, which was being installed during the offseason program.

During his NFL career Maye played both free safety and strong safety and has contributed 409 tackles, eight interceptions, 4.5 sacks, forced five fumbles and recovered one.

Maye only started seven games for the Saints last season because he missed three due to an NFL suspension, and his season ended prematurely because of a shoulder injury he sustained in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons. He finished the 2023 season with 37 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and two pass deflections in the 445 defensive snaps he has played.

During his NFL career Maye has played less than 50 snaps a season on special teams.