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Should the Jets bring back Muhammad Wilkerson in 2018?

By Luis Tirado Jr.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrates a tackle against running back Tevin Coleman #26 (not pictured) of the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrates a tackle against running back Tevin Coleman #26 (not pictured) of the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets have a tough decision to make when it comes to bringing back defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson for next season as they can cut him in the offseason due to a low dead salary cap number. Should they bring him back next season?

When it comes to defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, the New York Jets and general manager Mike Maccagnan have some tough decisions ahead. Wilkerson earned his massive contract extension just a few years ago but unfortunately, injuries have defined him and had a major impact on his contributions to the team.

Luckily, when general manager Mike Maccagnan made his contract extension, he put something special in for 2018. If the Jets need to, they can cut Wilkerson this upcoming offseason as the dead salary cap hit would be just $9 million as per Spotrac.com. In the grand scheme of things when it comes to situations like this, all one has to do is look at the statistics.

So far this season, Wilkerson has only totaled 18 tackles, two sacks, and three passes defended. Needless to say, Wilkerson is far-removed from his days of being a Pro Bowl defensive end. Yes, he’s been dealing with injuries ranging from a broken leg to his foot, but at the end of the day, he’s no longer the productive defensive end the Jets invested serious money in to be.

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Since Maccagnan will have a plethora of salary cap money to work with and a future star defensive end in Leonard Williams, it’s best he parts ways with Wilkerson next season and cut him. The truth of the matter is, besides his inability to get the job done, this season will go down as one of the worst ones of his career.

The Jets would be wise to cut him this offseason, take the dead salary cap hit, and continue bringing in top talent via free agency and the NFL Draft. Wilkerson isn’t the same player he used to be as it’s time to move on and realize that due to injuries and a severe lack of production, his starting position on the defensive line would be better off with someone else.

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Whether Maccagnan wants to address that via free agency or this year’s draft remains to be seen but it’s clear that Wilkerson is on the decline and shouldn’t be brought back for next season. Since the Jets are rebuilding the right way, Wilkerson would hold the team back since his best days are behind him.

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