Marcus Maye, the 28-year-old safety who remains one of the most important cogs in the Green & White's defense, playing on the team's franchise tag. has reiterated that he's glad to be in the building at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center every day. And after Tuesday's practice with the NFL's trade deadline only hours away, Maye talked about the reality of the deadline and made it clear he wants to be part of a change… with the team he's on.
"For any veteran, it's an up in the air kind of thing," Maye told team reporter Eric Allen on the latest installment of the "2-Minute Drill" as he turned his attention to Thursday night's game at Indianapolis. "You never know. You just have to be where your feet are. The main thing at the end of the day is that it's not up to you. You just pray that what's going on is happening for the best."
He added: "This is the place that gave me an opportunity to live my dream 5 years ago and now to walk into the building and have an impact year. Having a chance to change the culture around here, having the opportunity to get better is all I can ask for."
Maye is one of the leaders on the Jets (2-5) defense and will remain so for the final 10 regular season games.
"Marcus is a valued member of this team, love having him here and he's a fantastic young player," GM Joe Douglas told reporters on Tuesday afternoon after the deadline came and went. "As you guys know, he's under his franchise tag so, we cannot renegotiate any deal with him until the end of the season and we have 10 games left to evaluate him and every other member of this team."
Maye (who missed a game with an injury) has been a strong performer for the Jets so far this season, a veteran among a young group in the defensive backfield. He is second on the team (to LB C.J. Mosley) with 40 total tackles (28 of the solo variety), 2 TFL, 2 passes defense, a sack and a QB hit.
"The guys [Michael Carter II, Ashytn Davis, Brandin Echols, Bryce Hall, Javelin Guidry and others] are learning real fast," Maye said. "This group hit the ground running, buying in. It's a great group of guys. The coaching staff has them putting their feet on the gas, embracing it every day."
He added: "I'm enjoying it with those guys. They keep me going, they listen and I respect that they're green to a lot of things. They're learning on the fly, but even with being so young, they have no fear. I tell them they can play with anybody in this league."
The entire team has been dealing with the quick turnaround, not having much time to bask in last Sunday's 34-31 win over visiting Cincinnati before traveling to play the Colts (3-5). Workouts this week have been walk-throughs.
"It's really about getting your body ready," Maye said. "The win was good and the quick turnaround gives us another opportunity to get another one. Getting your body back ready to go, get the game plan, get your keys for Thursday. You've got to get the mind and body right."
The national spotlight will shine on the Jets and the Colts come Thursday night. Maye, like nearly every professional athlete, said that singular focus can be a motivating factor.
"Being only teams playing under the lights, the whole country is watching," he said. "Everyone is sitting on his couch watching the Jets play. We just have to go out there and do what we do."