July 22, 2024

$22.5 million starter from the former Jets may return after being released…

The New York Jets roster is loaded, but the weakest remaining positional group heading into the offseason is the safety spot.

One name the team could explore is veteran Marcus Maye. The former Florida product was released by the New Orleans Saints back in February and has remained a free agent since.

Maye originally left the Jets in 2022 when he signed a three-year deal for $22.5 million in free agency.

Katherine Terrell of ESPN described the Saints’ decision to move on as a “cap-saving move.”

Jets Insider Leaves the Door Open for a Potential Reunion

On “Badlands” Jets analyst Joe Caporoso floated the idea of a Maye reunion in New York to Connor Hughes of SNY.

“Maye didn’t end poorly [his tenure in New York]. When Maye left, I know he had some legal issues there in New Orleans so the Jets are going to have to check those boxes but that wasn’t like a Jamal Adams separation. This is one where they [the Saints] gave him a ton of money. The Jets liked him as a leader [and] they liked what he represented,” Hughes revealed on April 22. “That would be one that I wouldn’t be surprised if they would come back in but I don’t know if Marcus will want to come in and start behind the eight ball for a starting position. Which he might have some better opportunities post-draft.”

New York has one safety that is locked into a starting role in Tony Adams, but the rest is very TBD.

Chuck Clark’s starting gig is in pencil, but he is coming off of a lost season due to a torn ACL. The Jets also have Ashtyn Davis and Jarrick Bernard-Converse on the roster but neither is guaranteed anything.

With the final pick of the 2024 NFL draft, the Jets selected Jaylen Key out of Alabama as Mr. Irrelevant. The young safety will have a chance to not only fight for a roster spot, but potentially a starting gig.

However, none of these names inspire fear. Maye, a proven NFL veteran and longtime starter, would have a clear path to a starting gig with the Jets.

That would be another compelling pitch by New York to try and lure Maye back to the Big Apple.

A Compelling Case for Maye to Return to New York

Maye has been unemployed for months. So that’s one reason to sign with the Jets.

Reason No. 2 is Maye can return home. He originally entered the league as the No. 39 overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft.

From 2008 through 2016 the Jets had an embarrassing track record of failed second-round draft choices. It was one bust after another.

However, in 2017, Maye ended the drought. During his five years in New York, Maye appeared in 60 out of 81 possible games. That includes three full seasons played.

The former Gators product hauled in six interceptions, 24 pass deflections, nine tackles for loss, and finished with 312 tackles during his Jets tenure.

He was wildly productive and was a quiet leader in the locker room. Maye didn’t speak up often, but when he did, people listened.

In addition to that, Maye would come on the cheap. The further we get away from the NFL draft, the cheaper the asking price will be for every free agent.

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