Mar 16, 2022

The New Orleans Saints agreed to a three-year, $28.6 million contract with former New York Jets safety Marcus Maye on Tuesday night after losing starting free safety Marcus Williams to the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day.

A source told Fowler that the deal includes guarantees.

Bradley Roby was going into the final year of his contract when the Saints traded a third-round draft choice for him.

The deals were first reported by the network.

Maye, who was drafted in the second round in 2017, has been a full-time starter for the Jets ever since. He tore his Achilles playing under the franchise tag. His availability for training camp is up in the air, but his rehabilitation is going well.

Maye is facing a possible league suspension stemming from a drunk driving arrest in South Florida, which didn't become public until October. Maye never mentioned the news to the Jets, which is a violation of league policy. The matter is still pending in the court system.

Maye should be the starting free safety for the Saints when he is healthy, as the defense has developed into one of the best under new head coach Dennis Allen.

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According to a source, the Saints allowed Williams to test the market because of their salary-cap constraints, and he ended up agreeing to a five-year, $70 million deal with Baltimore that included $37 million guaranteed. The Saints are over the cap. They were able to get under the cap without cutting a single player because they did most of the work by restructuring contracts.

They are a leading contender to land the Houston Texans quarterback in a blockbuster trade.

A long-term contract proposal from the Jets that included $20 million in guarantees was rejected by Maye, who signed the one-year franchise tender worth $10.6 million. When Maye's agent criticized the Jets on social media, the negotiations turned bitter.

Maye said in training camp that he might seek a trade at some point, but it never came to that. He suffered a torn Achilles in a game against the Indianapolis Colts and had season-ending surgery.

Maye missed three games with an ankle injury. He only played in six games and had one sack.

He had his best season in 2020, when he started every game and made two turnovers and set career highs for sacks and passes defensed. He showed hisVersatility by playing in the box more than before. He was voted the Jets' most valuable player.

Maye, who played at Florida, immediately established himself with the Jets as a steady, if not spectacular defender. He has only six turnovers in 60 career games, but he is not a ballhawk.

Roby had one year and $10 million left on his contract. He played a part-time role with the Saints last year, and was thought to be a potential cap casualty. The Saints wanted to keep him. They will be able to lower his cap figure in 2022.

Roby has started 50 career games with the Broncos, Texans and Saints, with 11 picks, 80 pass defenses, eight forced turnovers and one touchdown.

Rich Cimini contributed to the report.