The NY Jets are in a mess of a situation when it comes to defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and the ongoing negotiations with his contract. They are dropping the ball when it comes to taking care of one of their best players.
Wilk1erson has been a class act for the Jets both on the field and off it. Easily one of their best defensive players on the team, Wilkerson has done his part in proving his worth to the Jets on a consistent basis. Considering he’s coming off his best year yet, he still has plenty of football ahead of him, many of which will be better than anything the football world has seen so far.
Problem is, the Jets have dropped the ball when it came to him and his entire contract situation for the past few years as both sides have been unable to come to a mutual agreement. Wilkerson and his agent have given the Jets plenty of opportunities to get everything resolved in the past to satisfy both sides but so far, nothing has come to fruition and doubtful it will anytime this offseason.
Wilkerson’s career with the Jets has been incredible so far. To date, he’s totaled 184 tackles and 36.5 sacks. At just 26 years old, he’s in a prime position to land a huge financial and long-term contract. The Jets need to understand that he’s deserving of what he’s seeking for as long as it’s not going to break the bank.
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Many claim Wilkerson is seeking J.J. Watt kind of money but to be honest, he’s not at that level just yet.
Granted, he does deserve a hefty pay raise by the Jets and job security by being committed to for at least the next three to five years, the team needs to be realistic in that if they franchise tag him this offseason, they’ll end up either paying him even more in 2017 or enjoy seeing him play for another team since he’ll be disgruntled enough to leave faster than a New York minute.
While ultimately the Jets will probably end up franchise tagging him, they should be considerate in opening up their checkbook to give Wilkerson what he rightfully deserves. It’s not worth overpaying him but at the same time, he’s been nothing more than great for the Jets in everything he’s done and represented the franchise well in his tenure so far. While he’s coming off a broken leg injury, he should be good to go come next season as he’s doing well in his rehab.
Hopefully they can work out a deal to avoid franchise tagging him and keep him around for the long-term while giving him a respectable offer. If not, things will only get more tense as he won’t be able to hit free agency this year and will raise his asking price even higher come 2017. If the Jets don’t want to pay then, one better believe another team will.