Jets place franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye

The New York Jets are placing the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye prior to the start of the 2021 league year.

NFL teams have until March 9 to place the franchise tag on an impending unrestricted free agent. Placing the tag will lock in a player for the next season at a set price based on position, but both sides can negotiate a new deal by the mid-July deadline. One team decided to take that approach, but it occurred shortly after the huge contract news regarding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the New York Jets are placing the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye. With this, Maye is slated to earn $10.5 million for the 2021 season.

Marcus Maye earns Jets’ franchise tag day prior of deadline

Following the Jets’ trade of Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks, the belief was that they would focus on keeping Maye long-term. Even though he is being tagged, the team can still negotiate a new deal ahead of the upcoming season.

The Jets drafted Maye in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Florida, where he immediately paired alongside Adams in the defensive backfield. This past season, Maye’s production increased as he became New York’s top safety on the depth chart.

In 16 regular-season games, Maye recorded 88 total tackles (four for loss), 11 passes defended, two sacks, two quarterback hits, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Additionally, Maye surrendered 27 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns on 46 targets in coverage, per Pro Football Reference.

Overall, Maye has 266 combined tackles, 22 passes defended, four forced fumbles and 2.5 sacks to his credit through the first four years of his career.

Maye not only enters the new league year with a $10.5 million salary, but also with the opportunity to further increase his production under new head coach and former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. With Maye locked in with this salary (for now), Jets general manager Joe Douglas can focus on improving the roster through free agency, where he has $63.4 million in cap space to work with.