The New York Jets continue with their house cleaning with the release of Muhammad Wilkerson.
Jets expected to release Mo Wilkerson today, per league source. Another veteran hits the market.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2018
This was another situation that wasn’t a matter of if, but simply when. Apparently, the green and white decided that would be right now. What this means is that the Jets have created some serious cap space ahead of free agency which is set to kickoff on March 14.
Between Wilkerson and Forte, the Jets gain $14 million in cap space (if Wilkerson isn’t designed a June 1 cut). #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) February 28, 2018
Specifically, the Jets gain $14 million in cap space. That will give the team around $92 million dollars to work with (give or take depending on the official cap provided by the league).
While this move was expected it is a somewhat solemn day on 1 Jets Drive. Wilkerson was drafted with the 30th overall pick out of Temple back in 2011. His versatility was supposed to be a welcomed addition to the green and white.
A homegrown talent, born and raised a few miles away from the Jets facilities, this was supposed to be a match made in heaven. But following some seriously impressive campaigns, the Jets decided to pay the man right at the deadline and that was sadly one of the biggest mistakes in recent Jets memory.
After handing Wilkerson a five-year, $86 million contract extension, he gave the Jets eight sacks. But it’s more than just the marginal play. It was the cancerous attitude that was clearly spreading to the rest of the team. Wilkerson had multiple incidents with tardiness and lackadaisical play on the field.
The Jets had to send a message that this wouldn’t be tolerated. That was sent with his benching at the end of the season as a healthy scratch. The Sons of Anarchy are now completely disbanded: Sheldon Richardson (Seattle Seahawks), Damon Harrison (New York Giants), and finally Wilkerson (released).
What was once considered the necessary building block for a championship has disbanded with zero playoff appearances to show for it. Now the Jets must continue to change the culture and bring good people in if they want to end their seven-year playoff drought.