Cleveland Browns v New York Jets
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Two days after trading starter Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to the Eagles, the Saints have more drama in their secondary, this time due to an off-field incident. Starting safety Marcus Maye, the former Jets standout who signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal this spring, was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, according to NewOrleans.Football's Nick Underhill.

"Marcus vehemently denies the (assault) allegation from a motor vehicle incident," the safety's attorney, Eric Hessler, told NFL Media, "and looks forward to defending himself when all the facts come out."

This is the second time in two years that Maye, 29, has been arrested. The sixth-year veteran was previously involved in a car crash that resulted in DUI charges. That occurred in February 2021, but Maye did not report the accident or criminal charges to the Jets, his team at the time, until it became public last October, per ESPN 97.5 Houston. His hearing for that incident was repeatedly delayed this offseason, but could also be subject to NFL discipline.

Maye spent the first five years of his NFL career as a full-time starter for the Jets, who drafted him 39th overall in 2017. He was one of the Saints' top targets in free agency this year, stepping in as an anticipated replacement for veteran starters Marcus Williams, who signed with the Ravens; and Malcolm Jenkins, who retired. He was slated to open 2022 alongside Tyrann Mathieu in the Saints' secondary, with P.J. Williams and J.T. Gray serving as backups.

Maye is the second prominent Saints player to be facing criminal charges and, potentially, an NFL or team suspension. Star running back Alvin Kamara has been accused of felony battery for his role in an assault that occurred on the eve of the Pro Bowl in February, though he is unlikely to face NFL discipline until 2023, once his case has officially been resolved.