Much like the Ben Gates character from the National Treasure movies, New York Jets defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson may not fully understand the nature of a bargaining chip.
Wilkerson already said earlier this offseason that he didn’t intend on holding out in an effort to force a long-term deal. Now Wilkerson has upped the ante and made it known just how much he wants to stay with the Jets.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Wilkerson said he doesn’t want to put on another uniform in his career.
“I told them at the end of the year last year that I want to be a Jet – a Jet for life,” Wilkerson said. “I’m from the area [Linden, N.J.], I’m a local guy, so I would love to be here and finish my career here.”
While it’s a noble thought for Wilkerson to want to play his entire career with the Jets, it may not be the best course of action to make those thoughts publicly known when it comes to contract negotiations. Ultimately, Wilkerson being so willing to express his desire to play for the Jets may allow the team to push harder for him to accept a lesser deal when it comes time to put pen to paper.
Wilkerson said negotiations were ongoing but the urgency to get a deal done isn’t pressing due to the Jets intention to pick up the option year on his rookie contract.
Wilkerson posted the best season of his career in 2013 as he was named a second-team All-Pro. Wilkerson posted 10.5 sacks, 63 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception for the Jets last season.