Jets Free Agent Profile: What to do with S Marcus Maye?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tyler Calvaruso
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Before Joe Douglas can focus on who he plans on targeting in free agency come March, he’ll have a handful of in-house decisions to make.

The Jets have 25 players set to hit the open market this offseason. Some don’t figure to factor into New York’s plans for 2021, while others it’s safe to assume the Jets would like to keep around for a while. Either way, Douglas has a lot of work to do to put together a competitive roster for Robert Saleh.

Marcus Maye is the most important player Douglas has to decide on. The star safety was non-committal when it came to re-upping with the Jets when broached on the subject at the end of the regular season, but that does not mean he does not see a future for himself at One Jets Drive.

What should Douglas do with Maye this offseason? Let’s evaluate the situation in Jets Wire’s first free agent profile of the offseason.

Pros of bringing him back

Syndication: The Record

Maye is more than just one of the Jets' best defenders. He has become the heart and soul of New York's defense, establishing himself as an invaluable locker room presence. Maye is not the rah-rah type of player Jamal Adams was, but he plays with a confidence and swagger that his teammates recognize and respect. Maye’s leadership will be much needed at One Jets Drive as New York dives into the next stage of its rebuild -- one that includes a new head coach and possibly a new quarterback. Even if Maye was not a locker room presence, his performance on the field is enough of a reason for the Jets to want him back. The Florida product has developed into the better safeties in football and New York needs all the talent it can get on its side as it gets to work on digging out of the AFC East basement.

Cons of bringing him back

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The only reason Douglas and the Jets might opt to move on from Maye is his contractual demands. New York could tag Maye and keep him in New York for another season at $10.5 million -- a rather reasonable price tag for a player of his caliber. If Douglas is not willing to use the franchise tag on Maye in an offseason in which there is not any other in-house free agents worth tagging, it's safe to assume he does not have any designs on entering a bidding war for the Florida product's services. That could spell the end of Maye's tenure with the team that drafted him.

The Verdict

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that re-signing Maye should be the Jets' top priority this offseason. As long as he wants to remain in New York, Douglas needs to do everything within his power to get a deal done. What Maye brings to the table both on the field and in the locker room makes it a no-brainer. Maye's calculated market value currently sits at $8.3 million, according to Spotrac. There is a good chance free agent bidding takes Maye's average annual salary to the $10-12 million range, but the Jets have more than enough money to get a contract done with the 26-year-old. Worst case scenario, New York franchise tags Maye and tries to renegotiate an extension with him next offseason.