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Citing sources, the New York Daily News‘ Manish Mehta reported Wednesday, “[T]here is exactly a zero percent chance that he will be on the Jets next year under the current terms of his contract.”
Another source simply told Mehta: “He’s gone.”
The looming divorce has reportedly been fueled by Wilkerson’s conduct off the field as well as his underwhelming performance on it.
“Some people are ticked off at Wilkerson’s repeated violation of team rules,” Mehta wrote. “Others have grown tired of Wilkerson’s disappearing act on gamedays, while picking up a Pro Bowl paycheck.”
Through 12 games, Wilkerson—who signed a five-year, $ 86 million deal that includes $ 53.5 million guaranteed prior to the 2016 season—has mustered 2.5 sacks and 40 total tackles.
News of the Jets’ displeasure with Wilkerson comes three days after head coach Todd Bowles benched the Pro Bowler for the first quarter of Sunday’s 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs for being late to a team meeting, according to NJ.com’s Connor Hughes.
Hughes added Wilkerson “has regularly shown up late to team’s morning meetings this season.”
If the Jets want to rid themselves of that headache, they will have an opportunity to do so.
According to Spotrac, the Jets can ensure Wilkerson’s 2018 salary is never fully guaranteed if they cut him before the third day of the new league year. If they take that step, they’ll be forced to eat $ 9 million in dead cap but will save $ 11 million in the process.
Should the Jets wait beyond that date and guarantee Wilkerson’s $ 16.7 million salary, they would save $ 17 million in 2018 and be forced to eat $ 3 million of dead cap in 2018 and another $ 6 million in 2019.