Salary Distribution, Decision Was Already Made
The NFL salary cap is sitting at a cool $155.27 million for 2016. This means 53 football players must fit like puzzle pieces within that ceiling (barring the new carryover rules, positive or negative).
Positions like cornerback, wide receiver, tackle, edge rusher, and quarterback receive the big bucks. Quarterback and edge rusher are two spots the Jets currently have no money tied up in.
It simply makes no sense to pay three defensive lineman all big money in a 3-4 scheme. And because the Jets currently possess Sheldon Richardson through the 2017 season and Leonard Williams at a very cheap cost through 2018, Wilkerson becomes the odd man out.
The real nail in the coffin came this offseason.
Once the Jets picked up the 2017 team option on Richardson for $8.69 million, that essentially signaled the end for Big Mo. If Maccagnan wanted to work with Wilkerson, he would have allowed Sheldon to play through 2016 as a free agent to be.