Marcus Maye will remain in Florham Park for at least the 2021 season. The Jets safety has accepted his franchise tag.
The Jets will be employing their top defensive back for at least one more year.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 20, 2021
$10.6 million is the 2021 tag price for safeties.
There’s still a chance the Jets end up utilizing this franchise tag as a placeholder in order to eventually get a long-term deal done later this offseason (they have until July 15 to do so). And at the right price, a contract should be offered and subsequently signed.
Maye underwent the best season of his career last year in the absence of superstar safety Jamal Adams and was undeniably the team’s top defensive back. The defensive-minded Robert Saleh would greatly benefit from having a player like Maye in his secondary for years to come.
He won’t be all too cheap though. Spotrac calculates Maye’s market value to be $13.2 million per year (four years, $53.19 million total), but he figures to receive an average annual value closer to $10 million. A $13.2 million annual value would make Maye the fourth-highest paid free safety in the NFL.
If the Jets don’t sign him long-term this offseason, he could further impress while playing on the tag in 2021 and then become even more expensive next offseason. And then if that’s the case, they could franchise tag him again in 2022, but that would be a costlier process than it is this offseason. Maye would either receive the set price for his position or 120% of his 2021 salary (what would be $12.73 million), whatever is highest. OverTheCap projects the 2022 franchise tag for safeties to be worth $13.35 million.
Joe Douglas and the organization possess time to get a deal done — nearly four months from Saturday. Cap space can additionally be cleared to keep Maye in Florham Park for a number of years. SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano estimates that around $23 million in space is available as of Friday with around $8 million required for the incoming rookies. However, the Jets could still cut wide receiver Jamison Crowder amid the acquisitions of both Corey Davis and Keelan Cole and the potential drafting of another wideout later this year.
Releasing Crowder would save the team over $10 million in cap space ($11.38 million cap hit, $1 million dead cap charge).