Jets could use franchise tag to bridge Marcus Maye contract talks

The Jets have something on their offseason to-do list that has not been there in a while. With safety Marcus Maye about to hit free agency, the Jets have a high-profile player they need to re-sign or use the franchise tag on.

Maye, who will turn 28 next month, was the Jets’ MVP in 2020 and one of their few impact players had on defense. This is the first time since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016 that the Jets have had one of their top players about to hit the open market. It is an indication of how poorly they have drafted in the last decade and also a result of trading away other top talent such as Jamal Adams, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams, rather than giving them long-term contracts.

Maye has said he wants to stay with the Jets and last month, general manager Joe Douglas called re-signing him a priority. The two sides could reach a deal before free agency begins on March 17 or Douglas could use the franchise tag on him.

The window to tag players opened on Tuesday and runs through March 9. The salary cap is not set yet, so the exact franchise tag number is unknown, but Over The Cap estimates the tag for safeties will be $11.2 million. That would be a reasonable number for Maye, who was rated the fifth best safety in the NFL last year by PFF.

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