New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Maye will serve a three-game suspension after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The league announced the suspension on Wednesday.

“Marcus Maye of the New Orleans Saints has been suspended without pay for the next three games for violating the NFL Policy on Substances of Abuse,” an NFL spokesperson said. “Maye is eligible to return to the Saints’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 9, following the team’s Week 5 game at New England.”

It is unclear exactly how Maye, a veteran in the midst of his seventh NFL season, violated the policy, but his absence could negatively impact the Saints’ defense well into October. The former Jets defender has carved out a significant role in New Orleans since arriving in 2022 and earned his first interception with the team two weeks ago against the Titans.

Maye has had several legal incidents in the past. In 2021, he crashed his car in Florida and was arrested on DUI charges. The following year in Louisiana, he was arrested again after allegedly pointing a gun at underage women in a car during a road rage incident. He was charged for aggravated assault with a firearm.


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In Maye’s absence, the Saints depth chart suggests that backup strong safety J.T. Gray will start. Gray played college football at Mississippi State and has been with the Saints since 2018, when he signed with the team as an undrafted free agent. He has appeared in 68 games for New Orleans but has never started.

In the event that the team sides with others besides Gray, third-string strong safety Jordan Howden and backup free safety Lonnie Johnson Jr. also figure as suitable options. Neither player has been with the team long, having only joined this offseason. Howden is rookie out of Minnesota that the Saints selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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