- La Canfora is among several NFL writers who believe locking up Wilkerson long-term should be the Jets’ No. 1 priority.
Wilkerson has clearly earned a sizable raise after quickly developing into one of the league’s best young defensive linemen. Even so, Wilkerson has said that he has no intention of holding out for new contract.
“Holding out was never an option for me,” Wilkerson said, via ESPN.com. “I’m one of the leaders on this team. That wouldn’t be a good thing to do. That’s not the way a leader should lead his team. On the business side of things, everything will be handled when the time comes. Right now, if anybody has any other contract questions, I would say [Jets general manager] John Idzik is the man to ask.”
The Jets have Wilkerson under team control through the 2015 season now that they exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie contract. Wilkerson will have reasonable base salaries of $2.2. million and $7.0 million coming his way over the next two years, so there really isn’t an overwhelming incentive to offer him a market-value contract right now.
Jets GM John Idzik is known for being a tough negotiator who has a tendency for maximizing leverage in contract talks, which also works against them offering Wilkerson a huge extension.
Wilkerson, 24, has recorded 116 tackles, 18.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and an interception over the course of his first three seasons in the NFL.