Throughout the offseason, Jets head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas have insisted that safety Marcus Maye is in their long-term plans.
In May, Douglas called signing Maye a “priority” while Saleh said the front office was “working relentlessly” to get a deal done.
Now, Gang Green has run out of time.
After placing the franchise tag on the 28-year-old earlier this offseason, New York had until July 15th to reach an extension. That deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that no deal was expected between the two parties before the deadline. Contract negotiations apparently took a turn months ago when the Jets offered the Florida product 20 percent less than the franchise tender of $10.6 million.
According to Rapoport, Maye had far better offers from other teams, so this undoubtedly heightened tensions. The free safety will now become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2021, and the prospects of him remaining with the Jets are quite low.
Rapoport confirmed with a tweet that Maye will play the 2021 regular season under the franchise tag.
This has to be labeled a major disappointment, especially considering how much Saleh and Douglas appeared to be prioritizing the extension.
Maye is one of the best players on the Jets roster. With a secondary full of inexperience and inconsistency, the thought of losing the former second-round pick as an anchor on the back end is certainly concerning.
All-around safety talent is a precious commodity and New York hasn’t been successful drafting secondary help in recent years. The Jets front office may live to regret their low-ball offer to their star, who will likely be in a different uniform next winter.
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