The New York Jets, once unable to reach a long-term contract with superstar Darrelle Revis, traded him away three years ago. Today, the team’s last second signing of Muhammad Wilkerson ensured that history wouldn’t repeat itself.
After enduring enough disappointments, hope in even the most basic things begins to feel like fantasy. Such is often the life of a Jets fan. Three years ago, the New York Jets lost arguably the greatest defensive player in their franchise’s history. Unable to agree to a new contract with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis, the team shipped him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for draft picks.
After futilely trying for months to re-sign star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, fans once again braced themselves for the worst. It’s hard to blame the fans. Here at The Jet Press, we didn’t exactly keep the faith either. We wrote extensively about how a potential Wilkerson training camp hold out would end up haunting the Jets.
And if we’re really being honest here, this writer is absolutely shocked that the Jets were able to re-sign Wilkerson.
Jets' DE Muhammad Wilkerson signed a 5-year, $85 million deal that includes $37 million in first 2 years and $54M in first 3, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 15, 2016
And yet re-sign Wilkerson they did.
In case there are any holdouts wondering if this news is too good to be true, it’s not. In addition to being able to lock up a star defensive lineman in his prime, the Jets also managed to do so at a reasonable rate. Although five years/$85M sounds like a massive contract, it appears almost frugal when compared to recent contracts given to comparable players.
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Von Miller: One of the most prolific pass-rushers in the NFL, Miller has recorded at least 11 sacks in four of his first five NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos.
The defending Super Bowl champion was recently rewarded for his performance, signing a massive six year, $114.5M contract ($70M guaranteed).
Fletcher Cox: An ascending defensive lineman who amassed a career high 9.5 sacks last season, the Philadelphia Eagles resigned Cox for six years to the tune of $102M.
Wilkerson: A star piece in the Jets’ defense, he posted double digit sacks in two of his last three seasons.
Wilkerson is not as dynamic a pass rusher as Miller, but he brings more to the table than Cox. Considering that Wilkerson was signed for one less year and the same yearly average as Cox ($17M), its clear the Jets locked up Wilkerson for below-market value.