Muhammad Wilkerson’s career with the Jets is coming to an embarrassing end. The Daily News has learned that Gang Green has no intention of playing the mercurial defensive lineman against the Chargers on the Sunday.
The organization has been working through legalities (associated with the collective bargaining agreement), which have slowed down the process. The Jets would be reckless to play Wilkerson in the final two games of the season given the parameters of his contract. His $16.75 million base salary for 2018 is guaranteed for injury only at the moment. (It won’t be fully guaranteed until the third day of the new league year in March.)
Therefore, the team would be on the hook for that full amount if Wilkerson suffered a grievous injury before the end of the regular season. It makes absolutely no financial sense for the team to expose themselves to such risk for a player they are getting rid of after the season.
There’s a feeling of annoyance on One Jets Drive surrounding this saga. People in the building simply want this to be over. They’re fed up with Wilkerson, who has underachieved on the field and embarrassed the organization off it since signing his monster five-year contract before the 2016 season.
Not only do they want Wilkerson not to practice anymore (he barely practiced all week and didn’t participate in pivotal practice sessions, according to people familiar with the situation), but they want him banned from the team facility.
It remains unclear whether the Jets will deactivate Wilkerson against the Chargers or dress him and simply not play him during the game. Either way, he won’t be a Jet for much longer.
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