Kudos to Kristian Dyer from the Metro for obtaining the following comments from all-pro defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Dyer asked Wilkerson about the recent chatter surrounding the possibility of him holding out and Wilkerson’s response could not have been much more emphatic:
[All] that holdout and all that other talk that people were saying and everything – I never said anything like that. I’m not going to hold out … It’s not something I want; it’s not something I’m thinking about. I’m going to show up like everybody else and do what I’m told.
Wilkerson effectively has two years left on his rookie deal because the Jets can exercise an option before the start of the 2014 league year to ensure he is under contract through 2015. Under the new CBA rules, no draft pick is permitted to renegotiate their contract until after their third season.
Bent, TheJetsBlog.comYou may or may not have caught wind of the buzz surrounding the possibility of an contract dispute between the Jets and Wilkerson, but we’ve considered it all to be media-created and speculative at best to this point, so have chosen to focus on more newsworthy reports. This would appear to be an approach which Wilkerson’s comments confirm was justified.
Just to bring you up to date, the initial buzz consisted of a Rich Cimini article within which he stated that “Some in the industry believe Wilkerson, who has outperformed his rookie contract, should play hardball and stage a training camp holdout, if necessary.” It doesn’t take a genius to work out who that “Someone in the industry is” and I think most Jets fans would agree that they should probably mind their own business. That was followed a few days later by a report from Brian Costello which jumped to the conclusion that because fellow 2011 first-rounder Patrick Peterson had refused to rule out a holdout, Wilkerson might do the same.
We are certainly pleased to see Wilkerson head this off at the pass, to say the least. There is also a quote in Kristian’s article where Wilkerson says he wants to be a Jet for life and that suits us just fine.
I previously wrote in detail about the possible timing of a Wilkerson extension and the effect of the 5th year option here.