The former Florida Gator is currently signed to his 2021 $10.6M franchise tag tender. Although both sides have until Thursday, July 15 to hammer out a potential long-term deal.
If recent reporting is any indication, that is unlikely to happen.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport suggested the Jets lowballed Maye and his camp is pissed off about it. So, what now?
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Pros and Cons of a Potential Trade
All of this animosity has put things in a very tender and awkward place. The Jets could simply ignore all of the extracurricular activities and tell Maye to suck it up and play or sit and get fined.
Then after this season, they can either let him walk in free agency (seems unlikely) or they could slap the tag on him again. That would take him through his age 30 season and then at that point the green and white could simply cut bait.
If they choose to pursue that path, Maye will likely show up to training camp, but he won’t be happy about it. The Jets were this close to experiencing that potential volatile situation last year but traded former All-Pro Jamal Adams right before the start of camp. Could they think about doing the same thing again?
That’s where we get to the potential con of this situation: who are you replacing him with?
That should always be the question when fans demand you fire a coach or trade away a player, who will step up in his place? If you don’t have a good answer to that question then maybe you shouldn’t do it.
In this particular case, there is a ton of uncertainty behind Maye at the safety position with the Jets.
They signed Lamarcus Joyner this offseason and he should excel returning to his natural position of safety. In addition, they also have former third-rounder Ashtyn Davis out of California who checks off all of the athletic boxes you would hope for.
Although both players are projections, there aren’t any guaranteed players you feel great about on the roster. Which complicates this potential decision further.
Evaluating the Top Potential Trade Packages
Tag-and-trade packages aren’t common in the NFL, but they do happen from time to time. We’ve especially seen this recently with an explosion of players being franchise tagged and then subsequently being dealt:
- Yannick Ngakoue (Jaguars to Minnesota)
- Jadeveon Clowney (Houston to the Seahawks)
- Frank Clark (Seattle to the Chiefs)
- Dee Ford (Kansas City to San Francisco)
- Jarvis Landry (Miami to Cleveland)
- America’s Team sends center Tyler Biadasz and a 2022 second-round pick
- Jets send Maye
The Cowboys wanted Jamal Adams, but weren’t willing to pay the piper to make it happen. Who would’ve thought a year later they’d have a chance at the other safety?
Biadasz is a former 2020 fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin that started four games this past season for the Cowboys. He’s only 23 years old and would provide the Jets a young option with the arrow pointing up at a position of need.
On top of that, they’d get some premium draft capital for the future (that would be the Jets’ third second-round pick of the 2022 NFL draft).
Los Angeles Chargers
- Bolts sends kicker Michael Badgley, guard Oday Aboushi, and a 2022 fourth-round pick
- Jets send Maye
If you think the Week 1 kicker is currently on the Jets roster I have some timeshares in the Bahamas I’d like to sell you.
In this creative trade, the Jets would get a 25 (soon to be 26) year old kicker who has an 80 percent career conversion rate and would prove to be a massive upgrade over what the team currently possesses.
Throw in a blast from the past in veteran offensive lineman Oday Aboushi. He was originally selected by the Jets back in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft. He has over 42 games of starting experience including valuable reps at right guard where Aboushi could step in and compete from day one.
- Birds sends pass rusher Derek Barnett, tight end Zach Ertz, and a 2022 sixth-rounder
- Jets send Maye
Barnett is entering the last year of his rookie contract and hasn’t quite lived up to expectations as a former first-round pick. Although you can see the talent and flashes of brilliance (19.5 sacks in four seasons).
Imagine putting him opposite of Carl Lawson in this 4-3 defense and letting him go to work. That could be the perfect recipe to unlock his full potential. While the Jets also would add a trusty proven commodity at tight end whose value is super low in Ertz.
New Orleans Saints
- New Orleans sends cornerback Marshon Lattimore
- Jets send Maye and 2022 fourth-rounder
This is one of the best possible deals the Jets could hope for. Maye has proven to be a very good safety, but not a superstar. While on the other side of the coin, Marshon Lattimore has shown glimpses of being a star at what would be a critical position of need.
The biggest critique of Lattimore’s game is his level of inconsistency. On one play he’s shutting down a top receiver and on another play, he’s getting toasted.
The former Ohio State star is in a contract year in 2021, so any potential trade would likely require a long-term extension, but it would be worth it for a franchise that doesn’t have any answers at the position.
- Houston sends quarterback Jeff Driskel, 2022 third-rounder, 2023 fourth-rounder, and a 2022 sixth-rounder
- Jets send Maye
This is a deal where the Jets get their veteran quarterback behind rookie Zach Wilson. Then on top of that, you get a couple of future picks to throw in the treasure chest.
Not a terrible deal, but not a great one either. Especially since this move would leave the Jets pretty barren at safety without much to show for it in 2021.