Brian Costello is out with a new story with information on the Muhammad Wilkerson situation. Costello says the Jets are actively exploring options for a trade despite Mike Maccagnan's declarations to the contrary.
Despite general manager Mike Maccagnan saying they are not "actively pursuing" a trade for Wilkerson, a source said Wednesday that the Jets are indeed shopping him around.
Perhaps the best indication the Jets are looking to deal Wilkerson is in how little effort was made pursuing an extension.
Jets owner Woody Johnson said it was "amazing" that the two sides have not been able to make a deal, but the Jets never have shown a true desire to get anything done. Publicly, the Jets have said since Maccagnan arrived last year that they wanted to sign Wilkerson to a long-term deal. Privately, they have offered below-market deals and barely spoken to Wilkerson’s representatives.
Costello also indicates there is belief in league circles that the Jets could hold Wilkerson and franchise him again if they do not get what they seek in a trade.
In any event, I feel like the Jets are taking Wilkerson for granted if this story is accurate. It is difficult to understand why more effort has not been made to get an extension does. Yes, the Jets have more young talent along the defensive line in players like Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams. Wilkerson was still the most valuable piece the Jets had on defense in 2015, and his ability to win matchups lined up anywhere makes him a matchup problem.