The New York Jets have a huge decision to make about who will be playing at quarterback in 2021, but they also have to make a tough decision on their safeties as well.
New Jets general manager Joe Douglas said at the end of the season that the team wants to do whatever they can to keep safety Marcus Maye, and as of now, they want to reach a new deal with him.
“We have had productive conversations with his representatives,” Douglas said via the Jets official site.
“Our stance on Marcus hasn’t changed as well. Marcus is a valuable member of this organization. Someone that started his career here, someone that’s been a pro’s pro.
“He’s smart, reliable and has provided outstanding leadership. Our plan hasn’t changed. We’re in the process of working to have Marcus be here long term.”
Even though the team struggled in a number of areas, Maye had a great 2020, as he was named the 2020 Curtis Martin Team MVP.
He had career highs in a number of areas, including tackles (88), TFLs (4), sacks (2), pass defensed (11), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (1). He also had a pair of interceptions, which tied a career high.
Maye is scheduled to hit free agency on March 17th, but the team is hopeful they can come to terms so it doesn’t get to that point.
The New York Post reported on Wednesday that it would not be a surprise to see the Jets use the franchise tag on Maye by Tuesday’s deadline.
The tag would pay him around $11 million for 2021 but would not give him long-term security, which is something that the 27-year-old wants.
Douglas said on Wednesday that he has great respect for Maye’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, and is hopeful that the sides can agree to a deal.
“I think [Burkhardt] is a great person, I’ve had a lot of great conversations with him,” Douglas said.
“You guys know how I feel about Marcus. This is part of the business. This is part of negotiating. I don’t see this affecting our ability to get something done with Marcus that’s beneficial for both him and the team.”
Getting a long term deal done may be challenging, but if the Jets can do it, they will have scored a major win to start the 2021 offseason.