Jets GM Joe Douglas said at the end of the regular season that retaining S Marcus Maye, who has an expiring contract, was one of his offseason priorities. With the start of free agency two weeks away, Douglas' goal has not changed.
"We have had productive conversations with his representatives," he said. "Our stance on Marcus hasn't changed as well. Marcus is a valuable member of this organization. Someone that started his career here, someone that's been a pro's pro. He's smart, reliable and has provided outstanding leadership. Our plan hasn't changed. We're in the process of working to have Marcus be here long term."
Maye, the 2020 Curtis Martin Team MVP, had a career year and led the Green & White with 1,137 snaps. He set career highs in tackles (88), TFLs (4), sacks (2), pass defensed (11), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (1). His 2 INTs tied a career high.
While Maye's representation expressed concerns about ongoing contract negotiations on social media earlier this week, Douglas spoke of his respect for both Maye and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, Wednesday. Douglas reiterated his desire to keep the veteran safety with the Green & White.
"I think [Burkhardt] is a great person, I've had a lot of great conversations with him," he said. "You guys know how I feel about Marcus. This is part of the business. This is part of negotiating. I don't see this affecting our ability to get something done with Marcus that's beneficial for both him and the team."
The Jets have 16 impending free agents other than Maye and with many holes to fill, there's been external speculation that Head Coach Robert Saleh could lobby to acquire some 49ers players with expiring contracts to help implement the new systems and culture.
"There's always comfort in familiarity," he said. "It's almost human nature to gravitate to people you've worked with and been around, but there's still a process which you go through. There's fit, value, all those different things and a lot of moving parts that go into it. While it would be great, it's not the main determining factor whether or not we could get those players into the building."
The Jets have the second-most projected cap space in the NFL, but that doesn't mean they're going to shop in a different price range than last year simply because they can. Douglas will still approach free agency in a calculated manner.
"We're better positioned than we were this time last year," he said. "Our philosophy and stance have not changed. Our goal and our plan is to be a team that really builds this through the draft and hitting on draft picks and obviously using free agency to supplement our roster. If the opportunity and the value meet, that's going to be the point where we're going to be aggressive and get someone that we feel good about helping this team not only the field, but with the culture and inside the building."
He added: "We're very well-positioned with the capital we have with where we are financially. We feel we're well-positioned to start this offseason and really improve this roster."