Content available exclusively for subscribers
Just not a good year
for players to get paid big bucks.
With the salary cap going down from $198.2 million in 2020 to $182.5 million 2021, due to the NFL losing revenue due to COVID-19, the cap dipped, instead of going up to a projected $210 million.
This was a bad year to be a free agent, aside from a select few who truly cashed in with mega-deals.
So Marcus Maye making $10.6 million on the franchise tag this year, is actually pretty good money.
Consider the fact that his safety partner, free agent addition LaMarcus Joyner, who is just as good as Maye, signed a one-year deal for $3 million. In all fairness, it should be pointed out that Joyner is coming off a nice payday from the Raiders, but still, his 2021 contract is probably below his value. This is a player who was franchised by the Rams in 2018.
Morgan Moses, a solid right tackle, recently signed a one-year deal for $3.6 million. He will compete with George Fant for the starting right tackle job. No doubt Moses thought he’d make more on the open market, and probably thought he’d go to a team he wouldn’t need to compete for the starting right tackle job. But the market was/is awful for players, so he took the best deal he could get.
Former Jets first-round pick, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, also settled for a one-year $3.6 million deal, with the Minnesota Vikings.
There are a bunch of free agents with talent still unsigned because the offers are so low.
Most teams just don’t have much or any cap space.
So actually Maye’s deal is pretty good.
Granted he wanted a long-term deal, but it sounds like both sides weren’t even close to a deal.
The Maye situation, and even Moses, shows what a disciplined negotiator Douglas is. They stood their ground in each case.
Douglas and his team, after extensive film study and analytics work, come up with a number, and basically stick to it.
Maye and his agent were clearly living in the Justin Simmons, Budda Baker, Eddie Jackson, Kevin Byard contract world, in that $14-15 million range, and the Jets were clearly hanging out in the Malcolm Jenkins, Rayshawn Jenkins, Adrian Amos, Jimmie Ward, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Logan Ryan and Harrison Smith $8-$10 million range.
And look at some of those names in the $8-10 mill range, like the two Buffalo safeties – Hyde and Poyer – who are rock solid, and veterans like Malcolm Jenkins, Ryan and Smith, who’ve had nice careers, and you can almost understand why the Jets wanted to stay in that $8-10 range. Is Maye better than these guys? Some would argue no.
I’m not taking sides here, just trying to keep it real.
It sounds like the two camps were in entirely different universes, and that is probably why they couldn’t find a middle ground. They weren’t even close in their world views.
Some might think Maye will return pissed off, and that will impact his attitude. Highly-unlikely. First of all, he’s not wired that way. He’s a very upbeat, positive guy. Secondly, he needs to have a monster year to try to cash in next off-season, so no matter how he feels about his contract, he has no choice but to go out there and kick butt this year, either for his next Jets contract or to impress another team in 2020 NFL free agency.
July 16, 2021
Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Monday.