The Marcus Maye contract negotiations did not turn out well.
General manager Joe Douglas and the New York Jets had one number in mind, the star safety and his agent had another. In the end, the compromise was an expensive one-year franchise tag, a tactic the NYJ front office could double down on in 2022.
Right now, the relationship between the two parties seems damaged, but not beyond repair. If the Jets decide to tag Maye for a second time next offseason, things may get ugly.
Watch the defensive star speak awkwardly on the tense matter below.
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Date of Execution Pushed to 2022
When pushed by the media during his July 31 press conference, the safety alluded that a tag-and-trade could become a possibility in 2022. “I mean I got what 17 weeks to be the best that I can be, and then once we get to that point, we’ll cross that line again,” Maye responded.
The reporter followed up by asking, “next offseason?” To which Maye nodded yes.
This admission provides good news and bad news. The silver lining is that Maye will play on the tag in 2021. Although he’s definitely not thrilled about what went down, he’s willing to be a trooper and prove himself once again.
“From my end, I was hoping,” Maye told reporters, “hoping to get things done and get settled, but obviously we didn’t get to that point.”
On the negative side, Maye was noticeably upset that the matter didn’t get handled ahead of the deadline. The Jets will have their safety in 2021, but did Douglas and the front office alienate him? If they did, the athlete didn’t really show it, handling himself with class.
“I would love to be here for the long haul,” Maye stated while explaining his disappointment, “but we just couldn’t meet in the middle.” He added: “You can say fair or unfair, it just didn’t get done.”
In terms of valuation, Maye told the media that it’s “tough to say” what the Jets think of him. “There’s a lot of great [safeties] in this league and I feel like I’m right there with all of them,” he noted in the follow-up.
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Maye & Adams Have Remained Close
One nervous moment for fans had to be when ESPN reporter Rich Cimini brought up Jamal Adams, asking Maye if he’d spoken to the former Jets safety that forced his way out of New York.
“Oh yeah I talked to him, I talk to him every day all day, about life, not always about ball,” Maye replied adding, “I mean I was right there with him when he was going through it, so it is what it is.”
We knew Maye was aware of the Adams situation but we didn’t know that he seemingly helped the Seattle Seahawks safety through the drama. It does make perfect sense though. Maye and Adams were a tandem on the field, so why not off it?
Apparently, that hasn’t changed, as Maye admitted the two talk every day. Douglas has to tread very carefully here if a bitter Adams is still whispering in the playmaker’s ear.
For now, Maye told reporters there’s no chip on his shoulder, “[I’m] not out here to prove anybody right or wrong, I’m here to prove myself right, put in the work [and] let my play do the talking.”
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Thoughts on Saleh & New Scheme
The relationship with the general manager may be strained but the chemistry with head coach Robert Saleh is as strong as ever.
“I love him,” Maye expressed when asked about his new coach, “he’s been helping me a lot… we have our small talks on the side, he’s coaching me up, so you know it’s been great so far, I have no issues at all.”
As for Jeff Ulbrich’s scheme, Maye voiced that he just has to “find where [he] belongs,” but that it’s been “great” to play in. The safety got off to a fast start, recording the first interception of camp off Zach Wilson.
Maye told reporters that he is embracing his leadership role in this inexperienced secondary. He also made it clear that he feels he’s still very young and in his prime himself, being that he entered the league later than a normal rookie.
Lastly, he spoke about getting to know his new partner Lamarcus Joyner, stressing that “communication” is more key than anything else.
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