Eagles could surprise everyone by targeting Marcus Maye, maybe

Marcus Maye #20, New York Jets (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Marcus Maye #20, New York Jets (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

How’s this for some expert analysis? We have absolutely no idea about what the Philadelphia Eagles might do in free agency. We’ve given up. We spend hours trying to study this team and calculate its next move, but more often than not, nothing that they do makes any sense.

We get it right a lot. We felt pretty good when we said DeVonta Smith would be the choice in Round 1 last year, but none of us were certain until his name was actually called. A long time ago, we hit the nail on the head when we predicted the Eagles might draft Miles Sanders in Round 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft, but we’ve admittedly bombed on a few other mocks. That seems to be par for the course though.

When you expect this team to take Justin Jefferson, they roll with Jalen Reagor. When we think they’ll grab a wide receiver or a cornerback in free agency, they go with a defensive tackle, normally one from the AFC.

We won’t complain too much though. Utilizing that strategy actually led to Philly’s brass ignoring Byron Jones and James Bradberry during the free-agency frenzy in 2020. They wound up grabbing Javon Hargrave, and they eventually acquired Darius Slay in a trade. Both of those moves were slam dunks. Still, if you watch this team long enough, you’ll come across a few head-scratchers.

So again, for a team with so many needs, we resigned ourselves to the fact that no one knows what the Birds’ plans are for the coming offseason, but that won’t stop us from guessing.

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Could Marcus Maye be an under-the-radar target that the Eagles consider?

Heading into the 2022 NFL offseason, the Eagles have some decisions to make about the safety position. What else is new, right?

Both of their starters from the 2021-2022 NFL season, Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are at the end of their deals, and so far, there’s been no talk about extensions or re-signing them. That means that, if McLeod and Harris both walked, K’Von Wallace and Marcus Epps slide to the top of the secondary’s depth chart.

Epps showed some promise last season in Philly’s safety rotation, but with all due respect, that’s less than ideal. Marcus Williams is a name that we’ve enjoyed tossing around. He’ll be viewed as one of free agency’s most sought-after players regardless of position, but he’ll also be expensive.

If breaking the bank isn’t the route Philly wants to take, there are other options. Throw Marcus Maye‘s name in that category.

Sure, he’s coming off of a season where he wound up on the New York Jets’ injured reserve, and that’s scary. Still, this is a former second-round selection that started all 60 games that he appeared in for the Jets from 2017 to 2021. He also played under the current Eagles defensive backs coach, Dennard Wilson, during his first four seasons at football’s highest level.

In total, Maye has added 312 tackles (219 of the solo variety), 3.5 sacks, six interceptions, 24 pass breakups, and four forced fumbles to his NFL resume. He’s also on the right side of 30 in the minds of most as he turns 29 years old in March.

If Williams’ price tag turns out to be too costly, Maye makes for a nice consolation prize, one the Birds could land inexpensively in light of his recent injury history.

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Keep two things in mind. Eagles vice president/general manager Howie Roseman has history with Jets G.M. Joe Douglas, Philly’s former vice president of player personnel from 2016 to 2019. Maye, again, has a direct link to Dennard Wilson. It may not seem like much, but those small tidbits matter.

Again, none of us know what the Eagles will do in free agency, so we’re all guessing. This would be a move that makes sense though.

There are dots that we can connect. The Birds can fill potential holes at safety, and Maye can, for the first time in his career, join a team that appears to be on an upswing. He just won’t be able to wear the number 20 jersey when and if he gets here.