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Jets Can Halt Disturbing Trend With Extension For Marcus Maye.


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Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer 7h

New York Jets can halt disturbing trend with extension for safety Marcus Maye

 
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A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. Maye day approaching: The Jets have 18 days to sign safety Marcus Maye to a contract extension or else he will play the season on the franchise tag ($10.6 million), setting up a likely departure in 2022. For a couple of reasons, this is a litmus-test negotiation for the organization, which has trouble retaining its homegrown talent (see: Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold and Leonard Williams.)

Adams wanted out, in part, because he didn't like the culture. The Jets, under new coach Robert Saleh, have made progress in that area. They added some quality players in free agency, fueling the positive momentum. It would dampen the mood if they can't strike an agreement with Maye, a captain and team MVP in 2020.

This is a big one for general manager Joe Douglas, who has yet to complete a splashy contract extension. (Sorry, I'm not counting tight end Ryan Griffin and guard Alex Lewis.) Maye would be a good place to start. The former second-round pick is the longest-tenured player on the team and is well-respected in the locker room.

What is a fair price? There are two perspectives.

i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2020%2F0821%2Fr734615_1296x729_16%2D9.jpg&w=320&h=180&scale=crop&location=originThe Jets probably see it this way: Based on experience and production, Maye's contract should be in line with that of Cleveland Browns safety John Johnson, who hit free agency in March and signed for three years, $33.75 million -- $11.25 million per year. The contract includes a $20 million guarantee.

Johnson and Maye, both drafted in 2017, have similar career numbers.

Maye: 54 games, 6 interceptions, 22 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles and 2.5 sacks.

Johnson: 54 games, 8 interceptions, 32 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and no sacks.

Chances are, Maye is looking for something in the neighborhood of $14 million per year, an APY that would put him in a tie for fifth among safeties. He can argue he's entitled to that much because, by definition, a franchise tag is the average of the top five salaries at the position. The bar was raised recently by the Denver Broncos' Justin Simmons ($15.25 million APY), and it will go higher when Adams lands his extension from the Seattle Seahawks.

If there's one thing we've learned about Douglas in two years, it's that he's a hard-line negotiator. It's tough to keep players who don't want to be there, and it's tough to keep players who overprice themselves. That will change when/if they become a desirable place. Maybe the worm will turn with Maye.

2. Things-to-do list: As they begin summer break before training camp opens July 27, the Jets made a good move Friday to sign right tackle Morgan Moses, who figures to start immediately. This provides outstanding depth and flexibility at the tackle position, allowing them to put George Fant in a backup/swing role.

Other potential moves:

Pay attention to the backup-quarterback situation, although it seems like they're content to go into camp with James Morgan and Mike White.

Three rookie contracts still haven't been finalized -- quarterback Zach Wilson, guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and wide receiver Elijah Moore. When Wilson eventually signs, it will be four years, $35 million, fully guaranteed.

3. Showtime for scouts: The Jets' in-house docuseries, "Flight 2021," dropped last week. In my opinion, the best part is hearing the area scouts discuss the top picks in their pre-draft Zoom meetings. The scouts aren't allowed to speak with the media, so I found it interesting to get their behind-the-scenes perspective.

A few highlights:

  • Scout Andrew Dollak, giving his scouting report on Wilson, is asked by assistant GM Rex Hogan if Wilson reminds him of anyone. His reply: "It's easy to say the [Patrick] Mahomes stuff because of the loose arm, but he's also a very good athlete and he's able to create with his feet. ... There's not a lot he can't do on a football field. ... Nothing is off the table. He can make any throw on the field, whatever presents itself -- tight windows on all three levels. He's an exciting player to watch, for sure."

  • Director of college scouting Jon Carr on Wilson: "Out of all the quarterbacks I did this year, this guy is one of the quickest decision-makers out of all those guys. He's accurate with the ball. He doesn't have elite arm strength, but he has good arm strength. He anticipates very well and he's a risk-taker. But at the same time, he takes care of the ball."

  • Scout Alonzo Dotson on Moore: "One of the best pro days I've ever been to in my years in the business. ... The burst and acceleration -- I got a chance to see the kid against South Carolina, and it is real. You can feel his speed. You can feel the intensity when he plants his foot and drives upfield."

  • Director of player personnel Chad Alexander on running back Michael Carter: "This is my favorite player in the draft."

4. Number crunching: Another takeaway from "Flight 2021" is the role of analytics in draft-room discussions. Brian Shields, the director of football analytics, has a seat at the table, so to speak, and gives his input on each prospect. It's worth noting that, from an analytics standpoint, he rated Moore as the 16th-best prospect in the entire draft. (He was chosen 34th overall.) The docuseries doesn't reveal the rankings for the other draft picks.

Douglas is known to be an old-school football guy, but he's not averse to incorporating new methods of evaluation into his process.

5. Hall of a break? Maybe there's some hope for Joe Klecko after all.

There was a recent under-the-radar development that could help his candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Hall of Fame voter Gary Myers, known to be a strong Klecko advocate, was named to the nine-member senior committee. Klecko, the former Jets great who surprisingly has gained no traction in recent years as a senior candidate, will now have a supportive voice in the room -- or Zoom call.

The list of candidates will be pared to 10. On Aug. 24, the senior committee will vote on those 10. Only one senior will make it to Canton in each of the next three years. Because of a backlog of candidates, Klecko remains a long shot, but at least now he will have someone willing to stand on the table for him.

i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2020%2F1126%2Fr780924_608x342_16%2D9.jpg&w=320&h=180&scale=crop&location=origin6. Back to school: It was good to see Chris Herndon attending "Tight End University" this weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, where many of the league's top tight ends have gathered for a summit that was organized by the Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce, the San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle and former star Greg Olsen. Herndon's presence shows he's eager to improve after a season that was an absolute bust until the final three games.

This is a contract year for Herndon, whose star has faded after a promising rookie year in 2018. He missed time in the offseason because of injuries, but "he's a talented dude," offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. This is Herndon's third offensive system in four years, and he needs to get up to speed quickly in training camp because he won't get any free passes from the new staff.

7. The last word: "It was fun. A lot of beer." -- running back La'Mical Perine on attending a New York Islanders playoff game with offensive lineman/beer chugger Dan Feeney (via SiriusXM NFL Radio).

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30 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

If Maye wants to take a reasonable deal, he will be a Jet.

Agreed. If you’re thinking you will reset the safety pay scale….. it will be somewhere else or after JD has finished 2 years of Franchise Tags at age 30. Take the 3 year $34m with $20m guaranteed. Take advantage of the new system where you can increase your interceptions and get another contract at age 30 or 31

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A Maye deal at the right price would be a good thing but he's not the place to overpay to prove a point. I'd much rather see JD figure out an early second contract for Q that ties him to the Jets long term and makes the same point.

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47 minutes ago, Fantasy Island said:

I want Joe Klecko to be in the HOF.  CH attending the TE camp is great. 

Can't wait to see competitive play this year from gang green.

Agree both. Happy to see Herndon going extra mile.

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3 hours ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Its not about us halting a trend, its about   staying within our budget for the safety position.  If Maye wants $14 mil, Joe D would laugh at that.  We will just franchise him again next year then draft his replacement.

If Maye wants to take a reasonable deal, he will be a Jet.

If Maye doesnt sign here long term, that on him for being greedy.  If u want to play for Joe D and the Jets, u take a fair contract.

Agreed. JD will put a value on him and it will be take it or leave it. We can franchise him again or let him walk and maybe get a comp pick. Mayes market will not be $14 mill a year.  He’s almost 30- is solid AF but not a game changer.

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This “trend” is the soj mentality that needs to go. Adams was an ass and didnt want to be here. Darnold sucked and still sucks. I like maye and would like to keep him but he isnt a superstar that deserves to be overpaid!

thanks joe d

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I like Maye and think extending him is a good look in the locker room but he's not a guy you overpay or I would get mad if they moved on from.  These media guys are so pro player these days it's almost not worth taking articles like this seriously. 

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4 hours ago, Joe W. Namath said:

 

If Maye doesnt sign here long term, that on him for being greedy.  If u want to play for Joe D and the Jets, u take a fair contract.

Lol what a difference a year or so makes.

if you posted this 3 years ago youd be goofed on renlentlessly.

things are different!

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I agree with the authors opinion on the Maye contract stalemate. When was the last time the Jets actually signed someone long term? The Jack ass CB Mac signed to astronomical money? The Jets have become kings of the one year contract? Mosley? Who hasn't player in two years? I think the Jets should be wise in who they sign long term but they also have to demonstrate to the players that good play will be rewarded. I hope they get Maye signed long term within the next 18 days.

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The only real and important new development in the Cimini piece

5. Hall of a break? Maybe there's some hope for Joe Klecko after all.

There was a recent under-the-radar development that could help his candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Hall of Fame voter Gary Myers, known to be a strong Klecko advocate, was named to the nine-member senior committee. Klecko, the former Jets great who surprisingly has gained no traction in recent years as a senior candidate, will now have a supportive voice in the room -- or Zoom call.

The list of candidates will be pared to 10. On Aug. 24, the senior committee will vote on those 10. Only one senior will make it to Canton in each of the next three years. Because of a backlog of candidates, Klecko remains a long shot, but at least now he will have someone willing to stand on the table for him.

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7 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

10+ years of awful drafting and we're all supposed to feel bad that Douglas hasn't retained anybody?  GTFO.  

There wasn't a single player of significance worth retaining beyond their rookie deals from the Macc era.  Not a single f**king one.  We'll see if Quinnen Williams becomes the first to do so soon as he enters year 3.  

If Maye comes back on a 2-3 year deal, great.  If he doesn't, that's fine also.  He's 28 years old and is a good but not special Safety.  Per football-reference.com's "career AV" metric, about 47 players from the 2017 class have had better careers to date, including 4 or 5 Safeties (Eddie Jackson, Jamal Adams, Budda Baker, Jabrill Peppers, Marcus Williams).  Meaning he's performed about up to his draft slot (# 39 overall) but no better.

Who cares.

Please no cursing. Well, in this case it’s f**kin warranted.

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This will be Maye’s last year as a Jet. JD didn’t draft a gazillion cb’s/ safeties and sign another couple ones in FA to hand over a multi year deal to Maye who is getting up there and wasn’t ‘his’ draft pick. Solid player, doesn’t open his trap , team oriented BUT JD has bigger fish to fry. Maye is a perfect mentor for all those young secondary picks JD drafted.  A year under Maye will be very helpful to prepare them to take over the reigns at S/SS. It’s the right move. 

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I wouldn't say they've had "trouble" retaining homegrown talent. To say they've had difficulty retaining these players would imply they actually tried to keep them. Williams and Adams were traded and they clearly didn't want to keep the not so bright Sun God.

Their problem has been not producing any home grown talent to hold onto in the first place. 

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The main problem has been drafting positions of low importance in the top ten....I'm sure if the team drafted a franchise QB, a stud pass rusher, or a top 10 receiver they would have been paid.  Not many smart teams looking to pay safeties and run stuffing lineman 20 mil a year.  

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I like the comments in here and I agree, Joe Douglas isn’t concerned about any of Rich Cimini’s disturbing trends. The players understand that it’s a business, it’s not an issue. Marcus Maye is a nice player but, unfortunately for him, he plays a low-value position that has a franchise tag number that’s lower than what he’s looking for. JD has demonstrated that he has no interest in overpaying anyone. I don’t know if Maye is looking for $14M/year but, if he is, he isn’t getting it here. I don’t know if they think they need an $11M/year safety. 

If Quinnen Williams continues to improve this year, he’s the guy they should re-up early. 

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i don't really see the love for maye.  he's a nice player and all but there's a reason why safety has a lower pay scale than corner.  and cimini writes like it's urgent that douglas gets the deal done right now.  why?  douglas will have a few whacks at this ball before maye opts for free agency.  worst case is he gets franchised again.  and even if they do re-sign him, for how long?  maye isn't exactly young for a football player.  and this doesn't say a word about how maye will fit into saleh's scheme or how he performs during the season.

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My gut tells me Douglas has made a lowball offer that he knows maye wont take.  Lets say 10 mill a year.  So maye will play on the franchise tag this year.  Next year, unless they fall in love with a safety in the draft, we will franchise him again.

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Why should the Jets let Cimini's criticism of the franchise's past impact their move with Maye? The problem with giving Maye a big extension now is that you'll be paying for the decline of his career. The franchise tag was always the smart move. He plays a position that is not that valued, so the tag hit won't be awful. He was older as a rookie, so his age is more of a factor for his first extension than it is with a lot of guys. 

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15 hours ago, Maynard13 said:

This will be Maye’s last year as a Jet. JD didn’t draft a gazillion cb’s/ safeties and sign another couple ones in FA to hand over a multi year deal to Maye who is getting up there and wasn’t ‘his’ draft pick. Solid player, doesn’t open his trap , team oriented BUT JD has bigger fish to fry. Maye is a perfect mentor for all those young secondary picks JD drafted.  A year under Maye will be very helpful to prepare them to take over the reigns at S/SS. It’s the right move. 

Yep.  Douglas will lowball him, as he should because silly feelings shouldn't matter in negotiations, and ultimately make Maye feel like maybe its best to just play on the tag and then hit the open market.

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5 hours ago, Joe W. Namath said:

My gut tells me Douglas has made a lowball offer that he knows maye wont take.  Lets say 10 mill a year.  So maye will play on the franchise tag this year.  Next year, unless they fall in love with a safety in the draft, we will franchise him again.

I doubt Douglas tags him twice.  The tag would go up to $12M if he tags him a 2nd time.  Still very cheap compared to other positions, but it would make Maye the 7th-highest paid Safety in the league that year.  Probably not worth it.

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  • The time to extend a player is before their contract has expired.  That is the strategic and fair thing to do.  That time expired for Maye, and now the Jets have franchised him.  He will play motivated this year.
  • But yes, Maye plays a "low value" position.  My problem is that I do not believe that Ashtyn Davis is going to be a replacement for Maye.   If the Jets are going to be competitive this year AND NEXT YEAR, I believe they will need Maye.   Next year, when the Jets are poised to be supercompetitive, Maye replaced with Davis and others could be a big negative difference.
  • A team that wants to be competitive, unfortunately, has to pay up for the missing piece.   I believe Maye can be that piece. 
  • But if Maye does not want to sign a 3/30 year contract, 20 or so guaranteed (which he should do), if someone on the roster does not look like his 2022 replacement I would franchise him again, and hopefully have him replaced by 2023.  I think fans will be frustrated if the back end of the secondary in 2022 is a mess because we let Maye walk. 
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