Contract talks between the New York Jets and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson are going nowhere fast. It makes sense for them to trade him to the Chicago Bears in the grand scheme of things.
As of right now, the Jets have hit Wilkerson with the franchise tag and have until July 15th to work out some kind of new contract to keep him in the city that never sleeps after next season. The window until then also gives the Jets the ability to trade him if they feel no matter what they offer, he will be good as gone come next offseason when he’s an unrestricted free agent.
The truth of the matter is, Wilkerson wants to get paid just like J.J. Watt did a few years ago. Of course they are two completely different players but at the end of the day, Wilkerson is good but not great. He’s coming off the best season of his career in which he also broke his leg in the season finale loss against the Buffalo Bills.
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is sacked by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
General manager Mike Maccagnan has wisely stood firm on giving him offers that not only reward him for what he’s done with the Jets but to also keep the organization in a financial position to continue upgrading the team. Smart teams don’t invest so much money and resources into one position since it would inhibit them from adding better talent in the future.
Many sources have confirmed that the Jets are indeed interested in trading Wilkerson, should the right deal come to fruition. A team like the Chicago Bears would make a ton of sense since not only do they have the available salary cap room to pay him what he wants, but he would thrive in their system. They need an impact player like Wilkerson to fortify their defensive front and considering he’s entering the best years of his career, could be exactly what they need to push the envelope next season.
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In an article written by Brad Biggs for the Chicago Tribune, here is one of the few scenarios that would make sense to warrant such a blockbuster trade between the Bears and Jets:
"Others have suggested the Bears could engineer a swap of Wilkerson for wide receiver . Of course, the Jets would want to be able to sign Jeffery to a long-term deal and that doesn’t add up to me because it puts the Bears back where they were at this point a year ago – in serious need of playmakers for quarterback . Alshon Jeffery Jay Cutler"
The Jets need another premier wide receiver to go alongside with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The Jets should consider trading Wilkerson for Jeffery or even for their No. 11 first-round draft pick.
That way, it would satisfy both sides, the Jets get another draft pick to add another impact player to the team or maybe even a top notch receiver in Jeffery in return. Wilkerson would also get to play for an up-and-coming team in the Bears plus not to mention, gets the huge payday he’s been looking forward to in years.
It’s best the Jets do such a move now since if he has to play out his franchise tag next season, the Jets would get absolutely nothing back in return. They would regret not pulling the trigger on such a trade to get a valuable draft pick and/or impact player on offense back in return for Wilkerson’s services.
While the Bears would need to search for another wide receiver to fill in the void in the 2016 NFL Draft if that’s the route they go in, remember that defense wins championships. Wilkerson would transform the Bears’ defense tremendously heading into next season if they were without Jeffery.