Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson wants to be paid. His teammate and fellow defensive lineman, Sheldon Richardson, thinks Wilkerson should be paid. A lot.
“He’s worth that penny,” Richardson said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “And you know what penny I’m talking about. . . . We don’t just want J.J. Watt money. We want it all. We want Suh money. Hopefully everybody wants that type of bread in this league.”
Everybody surely does. But not everybody gets a contract like Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who’ll make $60 million fully guaranteed and more than $110 million. Only a small handful have the talent and leverage to pull it off.
Rarely if ever will two teammates in the same position group get that money. So if Wilkerson gets it, Richardson won’t. But Richardson may not realize that just yet. Instead, he’s focused on other defensive linemen with other teams who have, or haven’t, gotten that kind of money.
“If Gerald McCoy can get $100 million, I’m pretty sure my guy Mo Wilkerson can get $100 million,” Richardson said.
Richardson alo dismissed the $55 million deal signed last week by Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan as a “team-friendly contract” that doesn’t apply to Wilkerson.
In Wilkerson’s case, the money the Jets eventually offer likely will be far closer to $55 million than to $100 million. Which means that the question becomes whether the Jets will use the franchise tag in 2016 on Wilkerson, whether they’ll keep him around for another year at roughly $15 million, whether they’ll trade him from under the franchise tag, or whether they’ll simply let him walk away and collect the compensatory draft pick in 2017.
Regardless, the Jets giving Wilkerson $100 million is unlikely. The Jets giving both Wilkerson and Richardson $100 million is impossible.