The New York Jets have reportedly franchise tagged safety Marcus Maye — a move many saw coming this offseason.
The franchise tag for a safety is worth about $10.5 million.
Two franchise tags so far – both to safeties. https://t.co/e0thUxmClA
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2021
Heading into the offseason, retaining Maye was certainly a monumental goal for the franchise. In a year in which the Jets no longer employed star safety Jamal Adams (due to the trade of him to Seattle this past Summer), Maye underwent his best season in 2020, notching career-highs in a number of statistical categories.
The franchise tag will obviously provide Maye with a one-year deal to remain with the Jets, but this move may additionally just be a placeholder. The Jets could still ink Maye to a long-term deal at some point before the upcoming 2021 season, and given he’d be requesting a noteworthy chunk of change, it wouldn’t be a quick or easy process putting pen to paper.
Nonetheless, the Jets carry the cap space to keep Maye and they’re taking advantage of that situation. As of Monday evening, Gang Green owns over $82 million in space — more than 30 other teams.
There are still issues the Jets must solve in and around their secondary though. Even with Maye on the team last year, the defense still allowed 275.6 passing yards per game (28th in the NFL). New York must therefore address the cornerback position early in the NFL Draft (possibly in the second or third round) but could also sign a free agent in the coming weeks — veteran Xavier Rhodes owns an expiring contract and may be available as a short-term stopgap option.
But regardless of the pending decisions made, fans can now receive clarity on Maye’s status for 2021. There are a few young defensive players the Jets could (and should) build around, and the 28-year-old safety is certainly one of them.