The New York Jets reportedly still want to work on a contract extension with defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson.
The New York Jets put in some serious work during free agency to start March. In truth, their work has just begun. Now that the team once again sports a top secondary highlighted by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine, GM Mike Maccagan can turn to the defensive line, where another big contract awaits his attention.
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The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that Maccagan believes the team will soon be able to find some common ground with defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson in order to lock him up to a long term contract extension.
“Muhammad’s obviously a very good player, and we definitely want to keep him in the organization,” Maccagnan said.
Wanting to keep him and keeping him will be two different prospects though. Wilkerson has played well enough under his rookie contract to warrant a contract that the Ledger aspires could be worth $40M or more guaranteed.
“It’s going to be a process, I understand that,” Maccagnan added. “We have the ability and we’ve allocated resources potentially to do that with him. But again, that’ll be something that will kind of unfold here at some point in time in the future. But I don’t want to put a timetable on it to create any undue stress or pressure.”
That process at least has strong guidelines now thanks to the initial waves of free agency passing by, making way for the secondary market and long-term extensions to take place before GMs turn their full attention to the NFL Draft in May.
Expect Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract to land him somewhere between the tier holding J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh and one below that. He’s been one of the Jets most stout defenders up the middle and it’s hard to believe that a team that’s identified itself through strong defense for years won’t find the cap space necessary to lock down one of their anchors.
The Jets will have a chance to further bolster their offense as well when they hit the draft in May. The team is widely rumored to be interested in Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota,
We’ll know more as the draft approaches and beyond, but don’t expect extension talks to be a quick affair. If the Jets sign Wilkerson before training camp, that will be a big win for the new management team.
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