Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the Jets and DL Muhammad Wilkerson remain “far apart” in contract talks regarding a long-term extension, and it’s “very unlikely” that negotiations will continue once the season is underway.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells La Canfora that the Jets have been unwilling to offer Wilkerson similar guaranteed money to the contracts signed by Saints DE Cameron Jordan and Steelers DE Cameron Heyward.
However, executives from other NFL teams have said that they view Wilkerson as a far more valuable and impactful player than Jordan or Heyward.
La Canfora’s sources added that Wilkerson’s representative has made at least two proposals to the Jets that were both “well under” the contract signed by Texans’ DE J.J. Watt.
The Jets reportedly offered Wilkerson a deal that’s was less than half of what Bills DT Marcell Dareus recently got from the Bills in terms of total dollars and guaranteed money.
Wilkerson’s agent, Chad Wiestling, says that they’ve made the Jets “fair proposals” that are in line with the recent contracts signed by defensive linemen.
“We made fair proposals based upon the current market for comparable defensive linemen, unfortunately, the Jets view Mo much differently,” Wiestling said.
“Mo loves being a Jet, and nothing less than a Super Bowl for New York will satisfy him this season,” Wiestling added. “He will play his heart out for this team regardless of his contract situation.”
Wilkerson, 25, is already among the best defensive linemen in the NFL and has clearly earned for a big raise after the contracts signed by marquee players in recent months.
The Jets will still have their franchise tag at their disposal in 2016, which would run them around $16 million.
In 2014, Wilkerson appeared in 13 games and recorded 56 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and and five pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 defensive end in a 3-4 system.
We’ll have more regarding the Jets and Wilkerson as the news is available.