Saints safety Maye suspended three games in connection with 2021 DUI case
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Maye has been suspended without pay for three games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league said Wednesday.
The suspension starts with Sunday's game at Green Bay and ends following New Orleans' Week 5 game at New England on Oct. 8.
Maye's punishment stems from his 2021 arrest in Florida on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol after his involvement in a car crash in Fort Lauderdale. He was a member of the New York Jets at the time and signed with the Saints as a free agent during the 2022 offseason.
Maye last month agreed to a no-contest plea and six months' probation.
Through two games, Maye is third among Saints defensive players in tackles with 13. He intercepted Ryan Tannehill during New Orleans' season-opening 16-15 victory over the Titans and sacked the Panthers' Bryce Young during Monday night's 20-17 victory at Carolina.
“He’s been playing outstanding,” fellow starting safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “He provides us with a different attitude. He’s a hell of a tackler. There’s a lot of different things we do with him within the scheme that we’re probably going to miss.”
Because Maye's case was more than two years old, the Saints had prepared for the possibility of a suspension, coach Dennis Allen said.
“Obviously missing a player of Marcus Maye’s stature is a blow to us but yet we feel good about the guys we have backing him up,” Allen said. “We knew that this was certainly a possibility as we got into the season.”
Allen said candidates to fill in for Maye would include rookie Jordan Howden, special teams stalwart J.T. Gray, Ugo Amadi and Lonnie Johnson.
“We'll have a plan in place for making sure we're good in that spot,” Allen said. “All throughout training camp, we felt like the secondary was a position of strength.”
Howden, a fifth-round draft choice out of Minnesota, has rotated in for snaps at safety more than other reserves.
“He's a good young player,” Allen said. “He's smart. He's in the right spots, made some plays on the ball in training camp and we feel good about that player.”
The first game of Maye's suspension will overlap with the final game of star running back Alvin Kamara's three-game suspension in connection with a February 2022 melee in a Las Vegas hotel during Pro Bowl weekend.
NOTES: In addition to injured running back Jamaal Williams, who is expected to miss at least one game because of his hamstring pull, tight end Foster Moreau also did not practice on Wednesday because of an ankle injury. ... Rookie running back Kendre Miller, a third-round draft choice out of TCU, could make his debut in Green Bay after practicing fully on Wednesday. He had missed the first two games with a hamstring injury.
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