The Jets have said they want to keep defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, even if the numbers will make that difficult beyond this year.
But Wilkerson doesn’t seem convinced, and sounded off on his situation with the team while rehabbing his broken leg and not participating in minicamp.
“It’s shocking. It’s frustrating,” Wilkerson told Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Because I feel like I’ve earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I’m dominating and it’s showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do? You know what I mean? . . .
“Do I feel that they want me back? As of right now, no. I don’t feel like they want me. I’m a talented guy. Everybody knows that. I feel like they’re going to get the best they can out of me and just let me go. That’s how I feel. Do I like that feeling? No. I’m a New Jersey guy, born and raised and would love to raise my family here.”
Wilkerson has been in touch with trainers to monitor the progress of his broken leg, but hasn’t made any headway with the front office. He hasn’t signed his franchise tag offer, which would pay him $15.7 million this year.
That’s a far cry from the six-year, $103 million deal Fletcher Cox just signed with the Eagles, and Wilkerson made it clear how he thought he stacked up to him.
“I think he’s a great player. Do I feel like I’m better than him? Yes,” Wilkerson said. “Not to be cocky, it’s just a confidence thing. Everybody in the league that plays feels like they’re the best player at their position. If you ask any NFL player, they’re going to say they’re the best at their position.
“I feel like I’m better than him and whatever [his deal is] I deserve that or better.”
That’s going to be hard for the Jets to do at the moment, leaving Wilkerson to decide how stern of a stance he wants to take come training camp.