Tuesday is the first day that teams can apply the franchise tag on impending free agents, which means the Jets will have to make a decision about defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.
While quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is also headed for free agency, the feeling is that the Jets can work out a longer deal with Fitzpatrick. That hasn’t been the case with Wilkerson, who spent time last offseason angling for a new contract and hasn’t agreed to a deal with the Jets in the ensuing months.
Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports that things haven’t moved any closer to a resolution on the long-term contract front and that the Jets plan to use their tag on Wilkerson. That would cost more than $15 million in salary for the 2016 season if Wilkerson winds up playing out the year under the tag and the two sides would have until the middle of July to talk about a long-term deal.
The Jets could also trade Wilkerson over that period, something that could be of interest if they decide they want to re-sign defensive tackle Damon Harrison to go with Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams up front on defense.