New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles announced that Muhammad Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans this week. He is reportedly out due to a coach’s decision, reportedly stemming from a late arrival to another team meeting.
Wilkerson was also benched for a quarter last week for skipping/showing up late to team meetings. This was not the first time we saw this from Mo. There has been multiple instances where he skipped out on meetings.
Rumors have spread that Wilkerson will not return for the 2018 season. After last week’s benching, these rumors went wild. Sources said that there is “no chance” he will return next season, and now this latest incident seems to confirm these reports.
Source: #Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson showed up late to a team meeting today, I’m told. That’s why he’s benched.
Lateness, tardiness, nothing new for Wilkerson this year: https://t.co/TIty6rnlER
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) December 15, 2017
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
In July 2016, Wilkerson signed a huge deal with the Jets. The deal was worth $86 million over five years. His salary still remains to be among the highest in the NFL (with the exception of quarterbacks). This was after what many consider to be his best season. He racked up 12 sacks, which remains his career high. Since then, his production has declined.
Since he signed that contract, he’s racked in eight sacks over the course of nearly two full seasons. Many say after he was paid he became a lazy player, which can be difficult to deny. From skipping meetings to poor performance, it is easy to say he hasn’t been the same player.
After Bowles’ decision to bench Wilkerson this week, it’s almost confirmed he’ll be released at some point before 2018. I mean, he has to be, right? One of the most expensive players in the league only getting 3.5 sacks, and he has been no leader.
He may be setting a bad example for the young guys, considering Darron Lee also missed team meetings last week. It is hard to deny that Wilkerson was a great player at some points, despite his recent play. He has 44.5 sacks in his career, which happens to be 6th all-time as a Jet. The only players with more are Marc Gastineau, Mo Lewis, John Abraham, Calvin Pace and Shaun Ellis. Keep in mind Mo has played less games than almost all of these guys. The only one with less games played is John Abraham.
For some, Wilkerson will be remembered as a guy who was once a great player.He could be considered among some of the best Jets to ever go after a quarterback. For others, he’ll just be remembered as a guy the Jets paid way too much money to do basically nothing.