New York Jets – You Can Only Pay One Safety

Dylan Price on the New York Jets being unable to pay Marcus Maye long term

Jamal Adams is one of if not the most crucial player to the New York Jets success. He’s a dynamic player capable of making an impact in a variety of ways. In the same draft class, the Jets also selected another safety who’s gone on to be an impact player, Marcus Maye. Despite battling injuries, Maye has been the Robin to Jamal’s Batman. The duo have been a staple of the Jets secondary for a few years now. However, Jamal Adams’ longing to get PAID could push his tag team partner out of New York. 

Jamal Adams has undoubtedly earned himself a big contract. Looking at his numbers from his first 3 seasons there is a consistent theme of refinement. Jamal came into the league labeled as a cant miss prospect. The Jets even told him they didn’t expect him to be available with the 6th pick in the 2017 draft. He then put up a really strong year 1 with 83 tackles, 9 TFLs, 2.0 sacks and a FF. He was considered by some as a snub from the Pro Bowl and vowed to never miss another.

While in 2018 he began to make good on that promise. With a big year of 115 tackles, 9 TFLs, 3.5 Sacks, 3 FFs, and an INT. He was an impact player who allowed the Jets defense to take some big steps in what ended up being Todd Bowles final season. In that offseason, Jamal Adams became a star. Starting in the locker room after the last game, Jamal called out management with a plea, “get me more dawgs”. After making his voice clear, he then went to Orlando for the Pro Bowl. There, he was the Defensive MVP, a star of the Skills Challenge and a league wide fan favorite. When Jamal Adams gave an ELECTRIC spear to the Patriots mascot, he gained even more respect from the rest of the NFL.

Then, in the offseason he played ambassador. As the Jets opened up their checkbooks for CJ Mosley and Le’Veon Bell, Jamal Adams was vocal in his recruitment and support of the moves. As his stardom grew, he got the opportunity to play under defensive mastermind, Gregg Williams this past season.

Under Williams, Jamal was used in a variety of ways that were able to make his impact even greater. Jamal developed into one of the team’s best pass rushers with 6.5 sacks and continued putting up phenomenal numbers with 75 tackles, 12 TFLs and 2 INTs. Jamal flashed more versatility in his game this past season and earned a First Team All Pro nod.

He’s proven on the field, off the field and evidently on the stat sheet why he deserves to get a monstrous deal. Despite being subjected to trade rumors at the deadline, it’s apparent that Joe Douglas wants to keep Jamal Adams. By doing so, he may inadvertently push out Jamal’s partner in crime.

Football is a business. It’s fixated on the mantra of, “what have you done for me lately?”. Although Marcus Maye has been productive for Gang Green, he’s been inconsistent and faced injuries that ruined his 2018 campaign. In 38 games, Maye has had 178 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 INTs and 2 FFs. Although Maye is a young player, he’s 27 which puts him in a unique spot in terms of contract length. He’s likely got a few years left of good football and if he wants to cash in again, this could be a short term deal. He also isn’t going to be cheap. The thing is, if Joe Douglas is going to allot such a massive amount of money to Jamal Adams, he can’t allot so much of the payroll to one position and Maye is going to command a decent sized deal.

That ideal definitely fueled their decision to draft the versatile Cal safety, Ashtyn Davis. The former track star was a Swiss Army knife for the Bears. Davis could be a weapon used all over for Gregg Williams in his rookie season. If he performs, he’d be better suited at the free safety position then all over the field, although he has that capability. There was a consensus from scouts that the pick was a steal and he was the best single high safety in the class. Davis has sideline to sideline ability and has great range in coverage. He’s a dynamic player and a leader. If Davis is a potential successor for Maye and Adams is about to get his bag, the writing seems to be on the wall for the end of Maye’s tenure in the Green and White.