Part of the rationale for the Jets behind taking Muhammad Wilkerson had to be the pressure it takes off the team when it comes to the defensive line in free agency. There were question marks. Shaun Ellis is hitting the market. Ellis is still very productive, but the Jets might not want to pay a 33 year old more than market value or even market value, particularly considering all of the other key free agents on the roster. On paper, it might look easy to resign Trevor Pryce or Kris Jenkins cheaply. Pryce, however, might want to retire with nothing left to accomplish, and the bidding for Jenkins might get kind of pricy. Now that is less of a concern.
Wilkerson not only gives the Jets insurance along the defensive line, he makes it less likely those guys, especially Ellis will be back. I suppose that makes this pick a bit bittersweet. It appears the Jets have added a very good football player, but it will mean the end of another great defensive line Draft pick. Shaun Ellis has been a Jet for 11 years. He barely missed the cut in our top ten successes series.
That is the nature of the NFL. There is not much sentimentality. It is about using limited resources to assemble the most talented team possible. I think the Jets went a long way to doing that along their defensive line. Now they can focus their attention on other problem spots.