Chiefs Linked to Jets’ 5-Year Starter in Trade Proposal

Marcus Maye Jets

Getty New York Jets safety Marcus Maye in the middle of a hotly contested battle.

With the NFL’s trade deadline inching closer — the final day coming on November 2 — it would be wise of the Kansas City Chiefs to add a defensive piece in order to bolster a defensive unit that is one of the NFL’s worse through six weeks of regular-season play, per PFF.

One report on Monday, October 18 by PFF’s Brad Spielberger said the Chiefs are exploring options to add along the defensive line, which makes plenty of sense given that their two top pass rushers — Frank Clark and Chris Jones — have struggled mightily to get to the quarterback this season. However, one NFL insider suggests that the defending AFC champions should add at another position instead, and should seek to add to that position via the New York Jets.

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Chiefs Trade for Marcus Maye?

The Athletic’s Mike Sando wrote about the Chiefs being a potential trade suitor for Jets safety Marcus Maye, who playing on the franchise tag with New York. Here’s what Sando wrote about Maye’s fit with Kansas City:

“The Chiefs should make a run at a safety. How about New York Jets’ Marcus Maye? Maye is playing on the franchise tag. A long-term extension has eluded him,” he wrote. “Kansas City needs to bolster its defense or else risk becoming New Orleans from 2014-16, when the Saints were so bad on defense, they couldn’t contend even with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Safety is a huge problem as long as Kansas City continues to rely too heavily on Daniel Sorensen.”

Sando also spoke with an NFL executive who commented on the Chiefs’ misuse of safety Daniel Sorensen.

“Sorensen is really a dime linebacker,” an exec said. “It is asinine what they are doing, and unfair to the player. His role was reduced for a reason, and now you are plugging him back in as a mainstay guy. Maye would help them. I just don’t know what message you send if you are the Jets and you trade Maye. Who is going to start at safety?”

May Isn’t Good Fit for Chiefs

While Sando does try to justify why it would make sense for Kansas City to trade for the veteran safety, there are several reasons why Maye wouldn’t be a good fit for the Chiefs.

Maye’s contract is the first glaring reason he’s not a match for the defending AFC champions. He’s playing on the franchise tag with the Jets, which pays him out $10.61 million this season. That doesn’t line up well with the estimated $2.2 million in estimated cap space the Chiefs have, according to Spotrac. Granted, a portion of Maye’s contract has already been paid to him by New York. But even at a fraction of the cost the finances don’t line up, unless Kansas City packaged a player in a deal for Maye in order to free up some cap room.

The second reason Maye doesn’t fit well with Kansas City is his overall play based on his PFF grades. Maye has a 58.0 overall grade, 57.3 run defense grade, 70.1 pass rush grade, and 62.5 coverage grade this season. Compared to Juan Thornhill — the Chiefs’ new starting safety opposite of Tyrann Mathieu — who has a 72.3 overall grade, 55.8 run defense grade, 62.9 pass rush grade, and 72.6 coverage grade this season, the performance of Maye compared to who the Chiefs have in their starting lineup doesn’t seem to warrant the Chiefs making a move for him. A slight uptick in pass rush production would be helpful from the safety position, but that’s all Kansas City would be getting from Maye.

It’s worth noting that Maye would likely be a rotational player in place of Sorensen, and would certainly be an upgrade over him. However, based on the finances and whatever Kansas City would have to pay up in a trade to acquire Maye, the Chiefs should look elsewhere — and at a different position — to find a cheaper, and potentially more impactful defender.