Could Jets trade Marcus Maye? Arrest among factors in team's decision

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. Maye's days numbered? The lingering question in the aftermath of Marcus Maye's DUI-arrest revelation is, how will it impact his future with the Jets? Short answer: It moves him one step closer to the door.

The Jets didn't sign him to a long-term extension last offseason, resulting in the franchise tag, so why would anyone think they would give him a big deal in 2022 when he will be a year older (29) and facing a possible league suspension? They didn't think he was worth top-tier safety money during the last negotiating period, and that was before they knew about the arrest.

They could franchise him again (for $12.7 million) if he plays well after returning from his ankle injury, but that wouldn't sit well with Maye's side and could trigger a trade request. It could be the Jamal Adams situation all over again.

They could try a tag-and-trade, but the "arrest affects his trade value because he could be facing a suspension," one agent said. "He's an older safety who will now miss some games. Why wouldn't the Jets just let him walk in March to get a compensatory pick (in 2023)?" It's also worth noting any guaranteed money in a new deal could be voided by a suspension, which could complicate contract negotiations for the Jets or another team.

What about an in-season trade before the Nov. 2 deadline?

It can't be ruled out, especially if the Jets (1-3) fall out of contention. General manager Joe Douglas isn't opposed to dealing pending free agents for future assets, as we saw last season after he dealt Avery Williamson and Steve McLendon. In this case, the possible suspension wouldn't be a deterrent for potential suitors because discipline wouldn't be handed down until 2022. The obstacle would be his salary -- a guaranteed $10.6 million. By Nov. 2, he will be owed about $6 million.

With that price tag, the Jets wouldn't get much in a trade. They'd be better off waiting until the offseason.

Naturally, the Jets aren't happy about the arrest, but what really has to irk them is that Maye hid it from them for seven months. That, too, is grounds for discipline, according to league policy.

Coach Robert Saleh stopped short of issuing a public rebuke, saying the organization supports Maye. The arrest happened on Saleh's watch, but he said he won't hold it against Maye because it was before he had a chance to meet him and get to know him. That's easy for the coach to say now, but you can bet the front office will weigh it when deciding if they want to recommit to the player.

Six weeks after the arrest, Maye was stopped for speeding and driving with a suspended license (due to the alleged DUI) in Orange County, Florida, as northjersey.com first reported. The speeding citation was dismissed and the latter charge was knocked down to a non-criminal infraction. The Jets didn't know about that, either.

Maye is a good player and a well-respected teammate, but there are other factors in play. They point to Maye playing elsewhere in 2022.

2. No-name defense: A lot of pundits (me included) expected the defense to struggle in 2021, especially after the season-ending injury to pass-rusher Carl Lawson. Well, it's not struggling, in part, because of a bunch of kids and castoffs. Let's take a closer look.

  • Kids: First- and second-year players have played a league-high 1,029 defensive snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That group consists mainly of six players, none of whom were drafted before the fifth round. The best of the group is second-year cornerback Bryce Hall. Rookie slot Michael Carter II has the most coverage snaps played among all corners in the league without allowing a catch of 15 or more yards, per Pro Football Focus.

  • Overlooked kids: Defensive end Bryce Huff and cornerback Javelin Guidry, both undrafted in 2020, have emerged as key contributors. Huff is ranked fourth in the NFL among edge players in ESPN's pass rush win rate, a metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats. Guidry, showing his versatility, played cornerback, nickel and dime last week. "An absolute stud," Saleh said.

  • Castoffs: The waiver wire has been good to the Jets. Defensive end John Franklin-Myers, cut by the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, has three sacks and leads the defensive linemen in snaps played. On Thursday, he signed a four-year, $55 million extension. Linebacker Quincy Williams, cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of the preseason, is fourth on the team in tackles.

Other than linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Maye, the Jets don't have any "name" players on defense.

"Every guy that's on that football field feels like they have something to prove," Mosley said. "They have something that's driving them to make a name for themselves. Nobody is selfish. Nobody is making it about them."

It's only four games, and they have yet to face a top-10 offense, but it's a start.

3. Armed and dangerous: Quarterback Zach Wilson displayed rare arm strength last Sunday -- and the word "rare" isn't an exaggeration.

Get this: His 53-yard touchdown to wide receiver Corey Davis covered 50 air yards (from line of scrimmage to catch point), the longest completion in air yards by a Jets quarterback since 2014, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. In 2014, Michael Vick threw a 67-yard touchdown that also traveled 50 in the air.

"I think his arm strength is crazy," wide receiver Keelan Cole said.

The last Jets quarterback to eclipse 50 yards -- and this may surprise some folks -- was Mark Sanchez, who wasn't known for his big arm. In 2010, he hit Braylon Edwards for a 74-yard touchdown on a pass that went 54 in the air.

4. Double shot of Hennessy: Thomas Hennessy doesn't mind the anonymous life of a long snapper -- it fits his personality, he said -- but this is one week when he doesn't mind a little media exposure. On Sunday, he will play against his little brother for the first time -- Atlanta Falcons center Matt Hennessy.

"It's pretty awesome," Thomas told ESPN. "It doesn't happen every day that you get to play your brother."

They both attended Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, but never played together because of their age difference. Thomas, who made the Jets' roster in 2017, is 27. Matt, a third-round pick of the Falcons in 2020, is 23. The reunion, which will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, will be attended by their parents, a grandfather and a cousin.

Afterward, there will be a jersey swap and plenty of pictures. There's no wager on the game, but there's the potential for a lifetime of bragging rights.

"It's a unique experience and we'll definitely cherish it," Thomas said.

5. No Pick-adilly circus: The Jets and Falcons are the only teams without an interception on defense. ESPN Falcons reporter Mike Rothstein dug up this nugget, with help from ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau: It's the first time in NFL history, since 1933, that two teams will face each other in Week 5 or later having not intercepted a pass.

6. Quiet travelers: When the Jets traveled to London in 2015, they hired a sleep specialist and brought 350 rolls of toilet paper from home because they didn't want to take any chances with thinner paper in England. That triggered plenty of headlines and jokes. This time, they haven't said much about their travel plans, except that the new sports-performance department is in charge. It's hush, hush. (P.S.: I hear they're leaving the TP at home.)

7. The last word: "When I'm the vet in the room, I feel like I'm walking around, looks like I'm not moving real fast. But the moment I put the pads on, I'm twitched up, I'm powerful, I'm explosive, I've got all the moves. It's kind of like Batman. He's Bruce Wayne until he puts the suit on. Now he's fighting crime." -- defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins