Marcus Maye was hoping for a new long-term contract for his birthday. He’ll have to settle for a franchise tag.
The Jets slapped the tag on Maye on Monday, a league source confirmed. This move was expected if the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement by Tuesday, which is the deadline to use the franchise tag. Now the Jets and Maye’s representatives have until July 15 to work out a deal.
If they can’t reach a deal by then, Maye will play this season for the tag amount, which is projected to be about $10.5 million. The salary cap still isn’t set, so that figure could change.
Maye, who turns 28 Tuesday, is coming off the best season of his four-year career. He was a captain and was voted the Jets’ MVP after finishing with 88 tackles, 11 passes defended, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The Jets drafted Maye in the second round in 2017. They envisioned him and Jamal Adams, who was selected in the first round the same year, as their safeties for many years. But Adams became disgruntled last year when the Jets wouldn’t offer him a contract extension with two years remaining on his deal. He was traded to Seattle last July.
With Adams gone, Maye was used in a different role and flourished this year. General manager Joe Douglas reiterated last week that he wants to keep Maye in a Jets uniform.
"Marcus is a valuable member of this organization," Douglas said. "Someone that’s started his career here, who’s been a pro’s pro, smart. He’s been reliable and he’s provided outstanding leadership. Our plan hasn’t changed. We’re in the process of working to have Marcus be here long term."
This came one day after Maye’s agent, Erik Burkhardt tweeted his displeasure that the Jets hadn’t offered his client a contract. Douglas said he was concerned and that it was "part of negotiating." The two sides will continue to talk and see if they can get something done.