Today, more news broke about Jets’ star Defensive lineman Mo Wilkerson. The tale of Mo’s contract hold out has been on a light simmer since the start of this offseason. However, today Jason LaConfora reported that Wilkerson will not attend the ‘voluntary’ training sessions.
Mo’s in the final year of his rookie contract, one that will see him be paid just under $7 Million, as for now, Wilkerson looks to be holding out for the right contract that will state his place as a known leader of the green and white. Players such as Mangold and Ferguson are among those the Jets have turned to in the past and I imagine Wilkerson is waiting for a similar jumbo contract, to reflect that responsibility.
The biggest question is, why hasn’t this been done yet?
The Jets have attempted to re-sign Wilkerson before. Last year, it was reported that Idzik and Wilkerson representatives had a deal under discussion and they got most of the parameters worked out. Subsequently to that, it never went ahead and once Idzik was fired and the margins have drifted in a similar direction.
On Maccagnan’s arrival, he promptly stated the Wilkerson’s contract was on his to do list. He later outlined the huge importance Mo had to the franchise by arranging negotiations with Wilkerson’s agent at the 2015 Combine in Indianapolis.
Sadly, what today’s events have shown is the clear inefficiency of that meeting held in Indi. Maccagnan has since made multiple moves in free agency, with most going down swimmingly with the Jets Nation, however still seeing it fit to sideline Mo’s deal further.
I feel today’s news is only a sequel to the Jets’ preceding actions. Stressing, there is no need to fear Wilkerson’s future at East Rutherford just yet, this is simply a countermove to the Gm’s silence.
As Maccagnan has made no clear moves to tie Wilkerson down, Wilkerson will hope the Jets see his absence as a way of him sending a message. After all, as per Jason OTC, Wilkerson has no clauses in his current contract granting him addition salary if he attends additional training. As today is only the beginning of ‘voluntary’ training, it’s not yet mandatory for Wilkerson to attend, so this was the efficient and respectful method for Wilkerson to stand his ground.
Not attending voluntary training is usually a way of players showing they aren’t happy and due to the amount of money spent by Maccagnan, Wilkerson has every right to be concerned about his future at the Jets.
Nevertheless, we must presume Maccagnan’s skills to see a good player still remain and that this battle is not over. Since arriving in 2011, Wilkerson has grounded himself as one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. Arguably following behind the likes of JJ Watt and Ndamukong Suh, who have ironically both signed huge contracts recently. So even though Maccagnan will noticeably see that advantages of re-signing Wilkerson, its his lack of productivity in getting the job done early that will prove costly.