NEW YORK (WFAN) — Considering the record contract J.J. Watt just got, Muhammad Wilkerson wouldn’t be wrong to at least wonder when he might get paid.
The Jets’ best defensive player resumed his regular spot on WFAN on Tuesday, discussing with co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts Gang Green’s season-opening win over the Oakland Raiders and what the team is planning in preparation for this Sunday’s game against the Packers in Green Bay.
But the conversation eventually got around to the big defensive end’s contract status. Wilkerson, who was drafted No. 30 overall out of Temple in 2011, is signed this season at a bargain rate of $1.2 million, with the Jets holding the option in 2015 at $6.7 million.
Considering what happened with cornerback Darrelle Revis, the last thing Jets fans want to see is Wilkerson, a home-grown talent out of Linden, N.J., testing free agency when he becomes eligible in 2016. Which is why they keep wondering what general manager John Idzik is waiting for.
Idzik basically went out of his way to keep the Jets well under the salary cap this offseason, presumably so that he can lock up some of the team’s best players. Yet, Wilkerson, who was named Second Team All-Pro after recording 10 1/2 sacks and becoming a stellar run-stopper last season, continues to play the waiting game.
After being reminded that Watt, the Houston Texans’ stellar defensive end, just signed a six-year, $100 million contract with nearly $52 million guaranteed, Wilkerson took the high road, telling Joe and Evan he tries not to get hung up on what he can’t control.
“All I can say is J.J. Watt is a heck of a player. Congratulations to him on his new contract,” Wilkerson said. “All I can do is focus on what’s going on with the Jets’ organization. Whenever the contract comes, my guess is as good as yours. All I can do is patiently wait and just get better and focus on this season with my teammates and get ready for the Packers this week.
“As far as the contract, that’s why I have an agent, and I guess he’ll take care of that with John,” Wilkerson added.
When asked by Roberts if he’s better than Watt, Wilkerson laughed and said, “I think I’m a pretty good player. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
To hear what Wilkerson thought of the Jets’ effort in their win over the Raiders, and to get an idea how they plan to tackle Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, please click on the audio link below: