We knew the Jets were going to cut defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, we just didn’t know when. Now we know when: Today.
The Jets announced today that Wilkerson has been released.
Wilkerson’s contract guaranteed his $16.75 million salary if he was still on the roster on March 16, and the Jets definitely weren’t going to pay him that. So the only question was how soon they would get rid of him. Wilkerson was a healthy scratch at the end of the season in part because the Jets wanted to make sure he could pass an end-of-season physical and there wouldn’t be any questions about their right to release him.
There will surely be a market for the talented Wilkerson, although it’s hard to imagine any team paying him anything in the neighborhood of $16.75 million.
The Jets already had a huge amount of salary cap space, and cutting Wilkerson opens up even more. If it’s true that they’re willing to pay whatever it takes to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins, they can afford to pay him a fortune.