Muhammad Wilkerson has every right to be upset
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets continues to be one of the biggest story-lines of the offseason and it doesn’t look like contract talks are getting better.
Fans of the New York Jets have been clamoring for answers regarding the situation with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Will he sign a long term deal? Will he become a free agent? Will he be traded? It seems now that the situation has only gotten worse between the two sides.
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When interviewed by the press at his Strikes For Scholarships event, Wilkerson said, “I know what I’m worth” regarding his contract situation. When asked if he plans on sitting out training camp, Wilkerson was quoted saying, “I’m not going to answer that question because there is no deal in place”.
Wilkerson is visibly frustrated with the Jets’ front office and rightfully so. This contract dispute has been going on for years and general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles should’ve had this situation resolved weeks if not months ago.
He is a world class defensive end and deserves to be paid as such. However, the Jets shouldn’t be overly concerned with getting him back. The Jets have great depth on the defensive line particularly on the defensive end.
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Sheldon Richardson is already a Pro Bowl defensive end and Leonard Williams has the makings of a star down the road.
The Jets are not going to be able to pay for all of these players down the road and it may be time to move on.
If defensive end Olivier Vernon earned over $85M in free agency, it must be believed he will want something in the ballpark of $100M.
The best thing the Jets can do is trade him. Realistically, they should have traded him before the 2016 NFL Draft but agreeing to a trade is easier said than done.
That being said, it may be better to perhaps “settle” for a trade versus potentially not coming to a deal and losing him while getting nothing back in return.
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Throughout the football world, everyone has much respect for Wilkerson as he is one of the best in the game and a class act on off the field as well. While it would be great to have him be a Jet for the rest of his career but at the end of the day, this is a business first and foremost. The Jets have to do what is best for the team long term.