The New York Jets made a ton of important business decisions this offseason.
Everyone loves talking about the sexy additions to the roster, but there were plenty of proven studs who were handed their walking papers.
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A Tough Goodbye
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently documented one big regret every NFL team should have from the 2022 offseason.
“The Jets would have been wise to keep safety Marcus Maye this offseason, even though he was coming off a torn Achilles. Over the last few seasons, Maye has proved to be one of New York’s better homegrown talents. When healthy in 2020, Maye was nothing short of special on the back end of the Jets’ defense.”
For a span of nearly 10 years, the Jets were in the midst of a second-round curse. Every player they selected in that fateful round ended up being a major bust:
- Vlad Ducasse (2010)
- Stephen Hill (2012)
- Geno Smith (2013)
- Jace Amaro (2014)
- Devin Smith (2015)
- Christian Hackenberg (2016)
Although in the 2017 NFL draft, the Jets finally found a hero that could end all of the sufferings.
Maye was selected with the No. 39 overall pick in the second round and became a stalwart on the backend of the defense:
- Six interceptions
- Four forced fumbles
- Over 312 total tackles
During his five seasons with Gang Green, he wasn’t a rah-rah guy but rather let his play do the talking.
After his multiple years of success, it looked like he would be a building block for many years to come, yet the two sides could never come to terms on a contract extension.
The Jets slapped the franchise tag on him in 2021 to kick the can down the road and Maye, unfortunately, suffered a torn Achilles on a routine backpedal play in Week 9.
While there was a small sliver of hope they could reunite in the latter stages of free agency on a one-year prove-it deal, Maye found a much better contract at the end of the rainbow.
The former Florida Gator product surprisingly signed a three-year deal worth over $22.5 million to join the New Orleans Saints.
Coming off of a serious injury so late in the season many thought his market would be a lot smaller than it ended up.
Could Come Back to Haunt Them
With the Jets letting Maye go they brought back veteran Lamarcus Joyner in a corresponding move.
Knox said that swap was a mistake:
“Instead of keeping Maye, the Jets opted to bring back Joyner, who played only one game in 2021 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury. When Joyner last played meaningful snaps—in 2020 with the Raiders—he allowed an opposing passer rating of 91.6 in coverage.”
While the contract Maye received was somewhat impressive on the surface in all actuality it is a two-year deal that only featured a $2.6 million cap hit in 2022 which is super manageable.
Gang Green had plenty of resources to work that number in if they truly valued Maye.
Although it may have very well been a broken relationship based on the DUI fallout Maye hid from the team back in February of 2021. Also, the contract negotiations got pretty toxic which included Maye’s agent blasting the team on social media.
We’ll have to wait to see how 2022 plays out to really know whether or not letting Maye go is something the Jets will regret.
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