Wilkerson is owed $7 million this season and would cost $16 million if given the franchise tag in 2016.
According to Cimini, Wilkerson is seeking a deal similar to the one recently signed by J.J. Watt, who received a six-year deal worth $100 million (with $52 million guaranteed) from Houston last year.
On Thursday, the Bills reached an agreement with DT Marcell Dareus on a six-year extension worth $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed (Sept. 10).
Wilkerson, 25, wouldn't comment on his contract situation on Wednesday.
It is a shame that the Jets and Wilkerson won't get this settled before the start of the season, but the Jets are letting the situation play out at this point and want to see what Wilkerson does during Sheldon Richardson's suspension and what Richardson and rookie Leonard Williams can provide on the defensive line before the season is over.
As we wrote this spring (not knowing what was in store for Sheldon Richardson at the time) Jets GM Mike Maccagnan is setting up his team for long-term success, with or without Muhammad Wilkerson.
In my opinion, Wilkerson is the best 3-4 style defensive end in the NFL not named J.J. Watt and he deserves to be paid, but to ask for J.J. Watt level money seems like a request that is unlikely to be met. According to Pro Football Focus, J.J. Watt had 21 sacks, 44 QB hits, 54 QB hurries, and 10 batted passes last season. Wilkerson had seven sacks, 10 QB hits, 18 hurries. and five batted passes. To bring to scale, Watt graded out (1st - 107.5 grade) three times better than Wilkerson (3rd - 33.7 grade) did although they are separated by just one player in the rankings (Sheldon Richardson, #2) per PFF. For as good as Wilkerson is, the production has not matched Watt's ... and consider that Watt has done it with less talent around him on the defensive line.
Wilkerson is a fantastic player, but even as one of his biggest supporters I can't argue that he brings anywhere near the same level of disruption on his own as J.J. Watt does. Does Wilkerson deserve three times less money than Watt? No, of course not, he's still one of the league's very best players. So if Wilkerson wants Watt money, the best way for him to get it is to go out this season and produce accordingly. And he still might have to do it again next year if he gets franchised.