Muhammad Wilkerson’s status for Jets minicamp is still to be determined. Just four days before those workouts begin, Wilkerson said he still hasn’t decided whether or not he will show up.
“I guess we’ll see,” Wilkerson said Friday at a bowling event for his charity, T.E.A.M. 96 Foundation, held in his hometown of Linden, N.J. “That’s something my agent and I will discuss this weekend.”
Wilkerson has skipped all of the Jets’ voluntary workouts and practices this offseason in hopes of securing a long-term contract. If he were to skip minicamp too, he would be subject to fines. Friday was the first time the star defensive lineman had spoken publicly since December.
When asked if he was bothered by the lack of a new contract, Wilkerson said, “It’s a business.
“I just thought you work hard on the field, do what you got to do on and off the field, and that’s how you’re supposed to get rewarded,” he added.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has said he wants to keep Wilkerson, but it will all come down to whether the team and defensive lineman can agree on a price.
“I guess it takes a long time,” Wilkerson said. “This is new to me. But hopefully something will get done soon.”
Wilkerson is set to make $ 6.969 million this coming season via the fifth-year team option on his rookie contract. There was a brief flurry of speculation that Wilkerson could have been traded, both before this year’s NFL draft and again immediately after the team selected defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the sixth pick. Wilkerson heard the talk.
“I actually woke up one morning, ‘SportsCenter’ was on and I (saw the news),” Wilkerson said. “I guess that’s just part of the business. I wasn’t worried about that. I can control the things I can control.”
The drafting of Williams hurt Wilkerson’s leverage.
A few years ago, the Jets anticipated not coming to terms with Darrelle Revis, and traded him away. How would Wilkerson react if he were eventually dealt?
“Of course I’m a New Jersey guy, I want to be here,” he said, “but if that was the case (and) I were to be traded, there’s nothing I could do about that.”
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