Marcus Maye was the New York Jets' best player in 2020, elevating his game following the Jamal Adams trade. The pending free agent should be a priority for a club with a lot of cap space and a talent deficit.
Following a scathing social media remark by Maye's agent, Eric Burkhardt, regarding the Jets' lack of a long-term offer, general manager Joe Douglas said Wednesday the team wants to keep the safety in N.Y. for the long haul.
"We have had productive conversations with his representatives," he said, via the team's official website. "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."
Questions about Maye's future in New York swirled after Burkhardt responded to a tweet about the Jets' cap space: "...Yet refuse to take care of their best player, Captain, & team-voted MVP in his prime who had several All-Pro votes ... and who played out his entire rookie deal and even changed positions on his contract year (after they got rid of last year's All-Pro safety). (peace sign emoji)"
"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."
Maye set career-highs with 88 tackles, four for loss, two sacks, 11 passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. His two INTs tied a career-high.
This situation feels like a classic franchise tag situation. The Jets have until March 9 to use the tag if they cannot work out a long-term deal. The tag could keep Maye off the market and give sides until the middle of July to come to a long-term deal.