It’s July, which means the New York Jets and safety Marcus Maye have just two more weeks to agree on a contract extension or else Maye will play this 2021 season under the $10.6 million one-year franchise tag.
Any potential ongoing negotiations have quietly been kept in-house and away from the media, leaving many in the dark and speculating how Maye’s situation will play out.
The Athletic’s Connor Hughes took his shot at giving some clarity, writing that general manager Joe Douglas is likely willing to pay Maye around $10-12 million annually while Maye likely wants around $14-15 million annually. “Douglas is not one to overpay,” Hughes adds, “He has a value assigned to each player and seldom does he waver from that… So, who blinks?”
“Chances are, Maye is looking for something in the neighborhood of $14 million per year, an APY that would put him in a tie for fifth among safeties,” ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes, also suggesting the $14 million as Hughes did. “He can argue he’s entitled to that much because, by definition, a franchise tag is the average of the top five salaries at the position.”
Cimini points to Denver Broncos’ Justin Simmons–who signed a four-year, $61 million deal with $35 million guaranteed this offseason–and ex-Jet, now Seattle Seahawks’ Jamal Adams–likely expecting an extension in the near future–as safeties liable for resetting the position’s market.
Douglas reiterated in a press conference after the draft that keeping Maye in New York long-term “is a priority” and that he’d had “productive texts” with Maye’s agent. Head coach Robert Saleh later told reporters that both sides were “working relentlessly” to get an extension done, adding “hopefully that happens soon.” Maye was present at minicamp in July.
Maye’s side has made it clear that he wants to get paid. His agent, Erik Burkhardt, took to Twitter back in March to call out Douglas who accumulated nearly $80 million ahead of free agency:
Maye could have another advocate on his side. Robert Saleh stated back in January that he wants his players to “get paid as much as possible,” per Rich Cimini.
The two sides have until the rapidly approaching July 15th, 4:00 p.m. EST deadline to work out an extension. If not, they may look towards the 2022 offseason.