Marcus Maye's Agent Slams Jets Ahead of Contract Negotiations in Free Agency

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2021

New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Erik Burkhardt, the agent for safety Marcus Maye, lashed out at the New York Jets for refusing to work with his client on a long-term contract extension despite their financial resources.

Burkhardt responded to a Twitter post from ESPN's Field Yates about the Jets' estimated $80 million in cap space heading toward free agency:

Erik Burkhardt @ErikBurkhardt

@FieldYates ...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 yrs All-Pro safety). ✌🏼

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano previously reported New York is expected to use the franchise tag on Maye with no sign of an extension ahead of the March 9 deadline.

Maye took on a more wide-ranging role in the Jets' secondary in 2020 after fellow safety Jamal Adams was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in July.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product responded with the best statistical season of his four-year career. He recorded 88 total tackles, 11 passes defended, two interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles while playing all 16 regular-season games for the third time.

"Obviously, I love it here. I'm comfortable here," Maye told reporters at season's end. "But that [contract] decision is not up to me. I can only control what I can control."

He received a strong 82.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, and he'd receive ample interest in free agency, but it doesn't sound like the Jets will allow him to hit the open market.

That's what likely sparked the strong response from Burkhardt, who would prefer for Maye to land a lucrative long-term deal coming off a career year. The franchise tag is linked to a one-year contract, and New York would retain the ability to use it on the safety again after the 2021 campaign.

In January, Jets general manager Joe Douglas said a new deal for Maye would be "one of the priorities" of the team's offseason.

If the team does use the tag on the safety, the sides would still have until July 15 to come to terms on an extension before he's locked into the one-year deal.

The Jets may opt to hold off extension talks until next year, however, and instead use their cap space to upgrade the roster elsewhere with the front office facing pressure to end a 10-year playoff drought.