Written by Jared Dubin at CBS Sports.com
In a move that has seemingly been coming down the pike for a while now, the New York Jets released defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson on Wednesday. The Jets announced the move via their official Twitter account.
We have released DL Muhammad Wilkerson. pic.twitter.com/NhLfoREpLK
— New York Jets (@nyjets) February 28, 2018
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported in December that Wilkersonthis offseason after his relationship with the team had deteriorated over the last few years.
Muhammad Wilkerson, the Jets’ highest paid player, is virtually certain to be elsewhere next season, with the relationship between him and the team in disarray and both parties bracing for a split this offseason. Wilkerson was left home from a recent road trip for being late, something he’s been fined for frequently in the past, and may not play again this season, though he did return to practice last week.
Wilkerson signed a five-year, $86 million deal in 2016 and his 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 16. It would be beyond shocking if he is not gone by then, though the Jets are not in a rush to make any decisions at this point.
The Jets saved $11 million on their 2018 books by cutting ties with Wilkerson before his March 16 guarantee date. Wilkerson had become a star over his first few seasons in the league, recording 301 tackles and 36.5 sacks during his first five years with the Jets. Things started going downhill for him both on and off the field during the 2016 campaign, and it culminated in this release.
He should have a fairly robust market for his services this offseason, as there are surely teams that will believe they can tap back into his talent and do it without the headaches that he had in New York.
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