New York Jets: Is Muhammad Wilkerson on his way out?
Not only is defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson not attending voluntary team workouts for the New York Jets this offseason, one can only imagine the amount of frustration he must have against the organization. He’s been trying to get a new contract extension dating back to last offseason but hasn’t had any luck with the previous regime or the newest one that is in place. What exactly is the hold up with the Jets getting Wilkerson the contract he wants?
With a new general manager in town, Mike Maccagnan has plenty of leverage in this entire situation. Considering that Wilkerson is under contract until the end of this season, the Jets are trying to find the right amount of money and length of contract that satisfies both sides.
More from Jets News
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
So far in his tenure with the Jets, Wilkerson contributed 145 tackles and 24.5 sacks. His stats last season took a little dip since he missed a few games due to injury for the first time in his career. The Jets probably see this as an opportunity to gauge what kind of season he puts up in 2015 to warrant the kind of long-term big contract extension Wilkerson is seeking.
Wilkerson is looking to be paid as one of the top defensive ends in football as he’s seeking a long-term deal worth over $40 million dollars. Now, he’s definitely worth a contract extension but nowhere near the kind of money he’s looking for. He’s good, but he’s not J.J. Watt good.
Considering that the Jets were able to land one of the top defensive ends of the 2015 NFL Draft in Leonard Williams, it could very well mean that Wilkerson could be on the way out. While it’s doubtful they will trade him at any point this offseason, they could let him play out the rest of his contract and if he has a bad year, could let him test next year’s free agency period.
It all truly depends on how well Wilkerson plays and the kind of impact Williams makes in his NFL debut that will determine his fate. If Williams ends up being an absolute beast of a defensive end like many predict he will, it could give the Jets a viable replacement for Wilkerson should they decide to let him walk.
Unfortunately for Wilkerson’s case, the ball is in the Jets’ court. The only way he can guarantee himself the kind of contract he’s looking for is to put up some of the best numbers of his career this upcoming season to prove to the Jets that he’s the better option than their first-round draft pick. It’ll be hard but Wilkerson is on the right path since before his injury last season, has been a constant and key contributor for the Jets, even when times got rough.
Next: New York Jets: Will team have magical 2015 season?