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Jets Should Complete Long Term Deal With Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson is a Linden, New Jersey native.

Muhammad Wilkerson (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Muhammad Wilkerson (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)


As the 2015 NFL season is quickly approaching and the Jets and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson are still trying to reach a long term deal. Wilkerson, who grew up in Linden, New Jersey, says he wants to be with the Jets for life; however, if a deal is not reached by the start of the 2015 season, Wilkerson will play out the final year of his deal and become a free agent in the offseason.

The ball is now in the court of Mike Maccagnan to sign Wilkerson to a long term deal in the next six weeks. But since the Jets have a surplus of talent on the defensive line, there is not too much urgency in resigning Wilkerson.

Here is where it gets interesting. The Jets essentially have to choose between Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson because Richardson’s contract is done after next season. The Jets will be able to give one of them a long term deal, but definitely not both. So who do the Jets chose?

To me, the answer is Muhammad Wilkerson for a few reasons. First of all, Wilkerson is more developed as a player on and off the field. Richardson was just suspended for four games for substance abuse. It may be a one-time thing now, but who knows if he’ll get caught again. I also really like the fact that Wilkerson is “home grown.” He grew up in New Jersey and he wants to be with the Jets for life. I really like that kind of mentality in an athlete. He has his mind in the right place and he wants to win with the Jets. With Richardson gone in the future, the Jets would still have Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and Leonard Williams on the defensive line. Harrison’s contract is up after the 2017 season.

My message to Mike Maccagnan is this: open up the checkbook and pay Wilkerson what he deserves. He is a top five defensive end in the NFL and he wants to be with the Jets long term. There is no reason to not give him a big deal before the season starts.

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