At last a New York Jets contract saga has come to an end! The impasse between the Jets and superstar defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was brought to an end earlier today when the two parties reached an agreement on a 5 year 85 million dollar contract with up to 54 million dollars in guaranteed money.
Let's break down the extension.
Welcome Back Wilkerson:
After all the questions raised in part one of this series, General Manager Mike Maccagnan reveals what his true intentions always were by locking up Wilkerson to a 5 year extension. Talent wise this move is absolutely crucial for the Jets as they regain arguably their best player for another 5 years. With Wilkerson being only 26 years old, a 5 year extension is extremely worthy as Mo has consistently been improving and is truly just scratching the surface of his potential. This move not only makes the Jets a much more dangerous team for the upcoming season with all of the Wilkerson drama put to rest, but also sets the Jets up extremely well for the future. After it seemed impossible, Maccagnan might just find a way to keep Wilkerson, Richardson, and Williams for the long haul.
Big Mo Gets Big Money (But how big?):
Obviously a contract worth 17 million dollars a year and over 50 million in guaranteed money is a huge contract, but comparing this deal to others across the league shows it is truly not that huge. WIlkerson is getting paid near the same as new Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (Overpaid), a player that has not shown even close to the amount of talent and potential that Wilkerson has. This extension could also possibly free up cap space for the Jets as Wilkerson is no longer under franchise tag, and the money could be put towards bringing back Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Overall: Grade A+
Against all odds Maccagnan gets Big Mo back for another 5 years with what is honestly an extremely reasonable contract. All the while showing the world that nobody can catch on to what the New York Jets plan up in Florham Park. The media told us an extension wasn't likely, that Maccagnan was trying to find trade partners for WIlkerson, and then just like that The Magician struck again. Take a bow Mac; you've out done yourself yet again.