Jets franchise DL Muhammad Wilkerson told Brian Costello of the New York Post that he doesn’t feel like the team wants him, considering how things have played out in regards to a contract extension.
“It’s shocking. It’s frustrating,” Wilkerson said. “Because I feel like I’ve earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I’m dominating and it’s showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do? You know what I mean? . . .
“Do I feel that they want me back? As of right now, no. I don’t feel like they want me. I’m a talented guy. Everybody knows that. I feel like they’re going to get the best they can out of me and just let me go. That’s how I feel. Do I like that feeling? No. I’m a New Jersey guy, born and raised and would love to raise my family here.”
As of now, Wilkerson has yet to sign his franchise tender and there has been talk he could hold out through training camp.
Of course, Wilkerson is still rehabbing his surgically repaired broken leg, so even if he were to attend camp, there’s no guarantee he would be able to take part in practice.
To make matters more complicated, the Eagles just signed DT Fletcher Cox to a six-year, $103 million extension this week. Wilkerson believes he’s a better player than Cox, so it’s clear that he’s targeting a similar pay day and possibly more.
“I think he’s a great player. Do I feel like I’m better than him? Yes,” Wilkerson said. “Not to be cocky, it’s just a confidence thing. Everybody in the league that plays feels like they’re the best player at their position. If you ask any NFL player, they’re going to say they’re the best at their position.
“I feel like I’m better than him and whatever [his deal is] I deserve that or better.”
Wilkerson, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Jets back in 2011. He played out his rookie contract with the team and was in line to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason before the Jets used their franchise tag on him.
The franchise tag will run the Jets $15.701 million fully guaranteed for the 2016 season.
In 2015, Wilkerson recorded 59 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and six pass defenses over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 5 defensive end in a 3-4 system out of 57 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Wilkerson and his future with the Jets as the news is available.