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Jets to give Wilkerson the rocket, as $86 million deal turns sour
It was supposed to be the perfect marriage, and one that was built to last. But as is so often the case with love, life and football, everything has turned sour in the relationship between the New York Jets and the holder of their $86 million mega contract, Muhammad Wilkerson, less than two years into their five year deal.
The 28 year-old defensive end from Linden, New Jersey, was billed as a key component in strengthening the Jets defensive line and helping the perennial under achievers to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. As it is, Wilkerson has been the biggest under achiever of them all, and has proved more distraction than attraction, as the season has lurched from bad to worse.
A gamble that failed
It started with so much promise. Even in those back to back defeats to the Bills and Raiders, the Jets played with positivity and purpose, and when they strung a series of wins together, the sportsbooks and betting sites at bestbettingsites.uk started to slash the odds on them making the playoffs to around the 7/1 going into Week Six. Two months later, the 5-8 Jets are once again at the foot of the AFC East, and while a playoff berth is still a mathematical possibility, the only real surprise about the 20/1 odds being offered is that they are not longer.
Wilkerson’s departure is already a foregone conclusion according to one team insider, who told Manish Mehta, the long-standing Jets beat reporter for the NY Daily News: “He’s gone.” From the moment he signed that fateful contract, Wilkerson has given the impression of a man who believes in his own hype. Perhaps this is an inevitable consequence of being constantly associated with an $86 million price tag, but it does not make for a cohesive team.
As time has gone by, the infractions have increased, with Wilkerson constantly arriving late or failing to turn up at all for team meetings, and he even failed to show for his own birthday party.
If Wilkerson was making the big plays on the field, then his employers might be more inclined to live with his peccadillos and allow him to play the prima donna. But the most alarming part of the whole story is that when he has been benched, the Jets defensive line has looked no worse, and arguably better, without him.
It is interesting to compare his performances before and after the mega contract was signed. In the 2015/16 season, immediately prior to penning the deal, he had 12 sacks, was ranked #39 in the players’ own Top 100 NFL Players of the season and was a shoe in for that year’s Pro Bowl. Last year, he achieved just five sacks, and this year, only 2.5 so far.
The Jets have yet to comment publicly on the subject, and will almost certainly say nothing till the regular season draws to a close. Wilkerson also remained tight lipped on the subject when quizzed by journalists prior to the Jets 23-0 loss to the Broncos on December 10.
If rebounds and defensive effort won basketball games, UCF would have done enough to create another magical moment at CFE Arena against No. 13 Cincinnati.
Of course, offense counts. And the Knights struggled to buy enough baskets — even with the long awaited return of point guard B.J. Taylor —...
The Bears talked about the vast time they spent this offseason analyzing why injuries crippled the roster after 16 players landed on injured reserve, making it an issue for new coach Matt Nagy to help sort out.
The club made its first significant change in personnel in that regard on Tuesday as...
The Broncos requested to coach Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman winner Baker Mayfield at the upcoming Senior Bowl. Now Mayfield has invested in Colorado.
Mayfield signed with Boulder-based management company Capital Sports Advisors, with local agents Tom and Jack Mills, and Kevin Robinson. (The agency also represents Colorado State receiver Michael Gallup, whom the Broncos will coach on the North team at the Senior Bowl as well.)
Mayfield had reportedly considered entering the draft without an NFLPA-certified agent, but ultimately went with Capital Sports to guide him through the process and, perhaps, sell him to teams who might have concerns about his character and a 2017 arrest.
The Broncos’ coaching staff travels to Mobile, Ala., on Monday and will get a week-long look at Mayfield and dozens of other prospects in the Senior Bowl, held on Jan. 27. The full rosters are expected to be announced Wednesday.
9News first reported Mayfield’s signing.
The Bears talked about the vast time they spent this past offseason analyzing why injuries crippled the roster and after 16 players landed on injured reserve, it’s an issue again for new coach Matt Nagy to help sort out.
The club made its first significant change in personnel in that regard on...
The Blake Bortles Foundation says more than 100 Bengals fans have combined to contribute nearly $5,000 since Jacksonville beat Cincinnati’s biggest rival, the Steelers, 45-42 last Sunday.
Bortles says “fans are at the core of the football experience, and it’s truly exciting and rewarding when they band together, regardless of the team they cheer for, to make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
Bortles threw for 214 yards and a touchdown in the victory. He says he appreciates the contributions and adds that Bengals fans “should know their support will make a difference.”
A Cincinnati sports radio host encouraged Bengals fans to “pay it forward” and support the Bortles Foundation. Earlier this year, Buffalo fans donated generously to the Andy Dalton Foundation after Cincinnati stunned Baltimore and sent the Bills to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
Established in 2016, the Blake Bortles Foundation supports first responders in Florida and helps children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead pursue full, independent lives.