For a young New York Jets football team, headlined by rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, building the right culture with players who want to be a part of their rebuild is of the utmost importance.
We have officially reached a point where safety Marcus Maye no longer fits that culture. The 28-year-old Maye, much to his dismay, is playing on the franchise tag in 2021. Maye has an ankle injury and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, recently took to Twitter to share an update on Maye’s health, while taking an obvious dig at the Jets’ front office as contract talks between the two sides remain non-existent. Maye’s representation claims the former Florida standout will be healthy and ready to play right before the trade deadline. What a coincidence!
At this point, the relationship between Maye, his agent, and the Jets appears to be irreparable. New York has refused to give Maye the long-term security he’s seeking and entertaining an in-season trade for Maye doesn’t appear to be out of the realm of possibility. Here are three teams that could be the first to inquire about Maye’s availability.
A unit that will need to tighten things up on the back end if they hope to make a deep playoff run, this Ravens defense is almost unrecognizable compared to previous years. Baltimore is currently giving up more than 314 passing yards per game, which ranks in the bottom five of that category through three weeks.
The Ravens’ secondary took a hit when Marcus Peters went down with a season-ending injury before the new campaign officially kicked off and Baltimore has yet to steady the ship in his absence. The Ravens are allowing their opponents to score more than 28 points per game and must find a way to stop the bleeding before it’s too late. Baltimore has the cap space and positional need to explore a deal for the ever-versatile Maye, who could play at either safety position in their defense.
Would general manager John Schneider consider pairing Maye with Jamal Adams in Seattle? Once upon a time, these two safeties played together in New York and had the look of a fearsome and explosive duo. The Jets, unfortunately, ruined their relationships with both players, shipping Adams to Seattle and now finding themselves at a standstill with Maye.
This wouldn’t just be some feel-good story that would involve an unlikely reunion. Seattle’s defense is legitimately poor and is in desperate need of some additional help. Their solid performance in Week 1 seems like a far cry ago, as this defense has allowed 30 points in back-to-back losses. This defense continues to underperform and is littered with question marks. Allowing an NFL-worst 440.3 yards per game through three weeks, Seattle’s defense must find a way to put a stop to this nonsense. Quandre Diggs is currently starting next to Adams at the safety position and has been a downright liability in pass coverage, allowing completions on every single passing attempt that he’s been in coverage for.
Seattle has more than $11 million available in cap space and has the knowledge that Maye would slot in nicely next to Adams based on their playing history together. We love this fit.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer didn’t cross paths with Maye at Florida, as Meyer headed to Ohio State just a few years before Maye began his collegiate career as a Gator. But Meyer will be plenty familiar with him, and Maye is a hard-nosed football player that fits the “tough love” culture Meyer is attempting to establish as he continues to navigate the waters of running his first NFL club.
The Jaguars’ defense is giving up a horrid 418 yards per game through three contests, 302.3 of which are occurring through the air. With C.J. Henderson, now a member of the Carolina Panthers and rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell still finding his way, this Jaguars secondary is in need of a tone-setter that could lead by example.
Jacksonville currently leads the NFL in available cap space with more than $29 million in money that’s immediately available, and I can think of a great way they could put that flexibility to use. Maye fits the bill.
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