Jets star defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson has told his team that he wants to play with the New York Jets for his entire NFL career.
“I told them at the end of the year last year that I want to be a Jet — a Jet for life,” Wilkerson told the New York Post at a Play 60 event at the team headquarters. “I’m from the area, I’m a local guy, so I would love to be here and finish my career here.”
In addition, Wilkerson also confirmed earlier reports (Metro, February 8) that he will not hold out this summer, assuming the Jets pick up the optional fifth year of his contract as they are expected to do. (TJB, March 7)
While the Jets will more than likely pay Wilkerson his market value eventually, the centerpiece of the defensive line made it clear that he won’t focus on the negotiating table.
“That’s what I have an agent for,” Wilkerson said. “I’m not holding out. My agent is talking with Idzik, and that’s all I can say. I have nothing to do with that. I’m just going to let him take care of that. That’s his job. I’m just here to play ball.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
After watching the team’s former best defensive player get locked into an endless contract controversy with the team, it’s nice to see the team’s current best defensive player not follow the same pattern.
It’s good to hear Wilkerson voice his desire play his career for the Jets. Wilkerson seems to have the temperament to make it work. Even so, it’s rare in this day and age that an NFL player plays his entire career with just one organization. I truly believe that Wilkerson is earnest in his hope to play for the Jets his entire career and I think most fans would love to see that happen.
Learn about Mo Wilkerson’s offseason workout regimen here. (TJB, April 7)
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Just yesterday, Jets head coach Rex Ryan (and general manager John Idzik) were spotted at the LSU Pro Day. Here’s a picture of Ryan with his twin Rob, DC of the Saints. While LSU always has a substantial pipeline to the NFL, the big name this year (other than the surging Zach Mettenberger) is the team’s promising receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr..
Over the last few weeks, Rex Ryan, John Idzik and offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg have been seen far and wide attending the Pro Days of some of the best receivers in this class and it just so happens that wide receiver is one of the strongest and deepest positions in this draft class.
With questions at quarterback and a Jets offense searching for an identity, wide receiver is one of the biggest needs for this team. There’s not been six receivers picked in the first round since 2009 and 2014 might be the year to meet or break that number. After passing up on DeSean Jackson among a number of other free agent receivers, selecting a receiver with one of the Jets first two draft picks looks like a very likely outcome. While this is a highly talented group, after the first two players the field starts to spread out. Do you want a ready-made average sized receiver? A small speedster who can get behind a defense? A hulking behemoth with technique concerns? We’ll use this series to work through a number of the receivers expected to be drafted in the first two days of the NFL draft.
Without inside knowledge, it’s almost impossible to know who the Jets will rank where at the receiver position, but here’s what we suspect.
Out of reach (trade only)
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On NFL.com, senior analyst Gil Brandt lists out his top ten candidates for a break-out season from the 2013 draft class. The Jets picked cornerback Dee Milliner No. 9 in last year’s draft and Brandt notes that after a rocky start, things got better down the stretch:
[He] really showed something toward the end of the season, specifically in Weeks 16 and 17. In those two games, Milliner broke up 10 passes — that’s practically unheard of, the equivalent of having four interceptions in one game — and snagged three picks … Being viewed by many as the replacement for Darrelle Revis didn’t make Milliner’s rookie year any easier. While I don’t know if you can ever truly replace Revis, Milliner has turned it around, and I think he has a better-than-average chance of making the Pro Bowl within the next two years.
Bonus Link: On the subject of cornerbacks, PFF takes a look at the numbers for slot corners, with Kyle Wilson in among the league leaders.
As I’ve already mentioned this year, I’ll be writing about Dee Milliner in detail soon, hopefully in May. While we always anticipated he would make a slow start, as is usually the case with cornerbacks that played for Nick Saban, it cannot be understated how startling the difference in his performance was between the start and end of the season. Milliner barely got close to making a play on the ball in the first half of the season as he struggled to adjust to the nuances of the pro game following a disrupted offseason campaign. However, down the stretch he was consistently breaking up passes, as noted by Brandt in his comments above.
Milliner is not the finished article yet, but held his own well in December as the light-bulb appeared to come on for him. If Milliner can continue to improve at the same rate, then Brandt’s pro bowl prediction has a good chance of coming true.
As for Wilson, his numbers are certainly good, although there were admittedly a few times where he got lucky. However, this does put into perspective how his performance stacks up with other slot cornerbacks around the league. It will be interesting to see whether his role expands this year and whether the Jets intend to keep him in their plans with his rookie contract set to expire at the end of the season.
The most incredible stat of the season from Wilson was that he was penalty-free in 15 of the 16 games. The only exception was the Bills game in week three where he had five total penalties, including four on consecutive plays. That brings us neatly back to Milliner who had zero penalties – the only cornerback in the NFL to play more than 600 snaps without getting flagged.
The Jets have re-signed OLB Garrett McIntyre (Allen, April 9).
In 13 games last season, he made 19 total tackles (10 solo). He had two sacks.
McIntyre was a non-tendered restricted free agent.
The Jets will play the Colts, Bengals, Giants and Eagles during the preseason.
They will play at home against Indianapolis and the Giants, and away in Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
It doesn’t sound like anything is imminent in respect of Chris Johnson, who is reportedly in New York today, but with no plans to visit the Jets.
Over at PFF, they profile Johnson’s career so far in detail, giving an insight into what he might still be capable of. Here’s part of their conclusion:
If Johnson’s breakaway ability is declining, then the smart play would appear to be pairing him with a powerful runner to wear the opposition down, bringing Johnson in when they are tired and more likely to make a mistake. Not an unreasonable thought process, but the question becomes how much does Johnson rely on those poor plays by opposing defenses?
Multiple sources continue to claim that the Jets are “interested” in Johnson “at the right price”, but it remains to be seen whether they will make a move for him.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
As we move into the lead up to the NFL draft, here’s a summary of the moves the Jets have made in free agency.
Decker, Eric WR
Ford, Jacoby WR
Giacomini, Breno T
Patterson, Dimitri CB
Vick, Michael QB
Analysis: The team upgraded at two crucial offensive positions. By removing Santonio Holmes and adding Decker, the team has gotten better and shaved cap space in the process. While Decker can be a productive player with the Jets, the team is likely not done yet at the position with the draft approaching and 12 draft picks. Mike Vick’s addition provides the Jets the best available quarterback from the market and allows the team to play the man who can best help the team this year. In a perfect world that player would be Geno Smith, but he’s going to have to earn it. The winner of the QB competition will likely be the man who can hold onto the football … no small feat for either Geno Smith or Mike Vick. Giacomini is a lateral move at best from Austin Howard but the team saved themselves a lot of money in 2015 and beyond. The Jets had every opportunity to truly upgrade their cornerback position if they wanted to but the team chose to pass on players like Vontae Davis, Alterraun Verner and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie … but let’s not believe that bringing back Darrelle Revis was more than a remote possibility at best. Instead, the team went with a risky prospect in the aging Dimitri Patterson. When he played in 2013, Patterson was impressive but his injury only allowed him to see six games all year. Between Patterson and Kyle Wilson the team will sort out the second starting cornerback position, but the team would be wise to look to longer-term improvement through the NFL draft.
Colon, Willie G
Douzable, Leger DT
Folk, Nick K
Pace, Calvin OLB To read more of this story, click here