The New York Jets kicked off mandatory minicamp on Tuesday with all 90 players attending, but all eyes were on star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is pushing for an extension. He is scheduled to make $6.97 million this year. If he had held out of minicamp this week, he could of racked up over $70,000 in fines which would not be a smart business move on his part.
The Jets have expressed interest in keeping the talented defensive end, but are yet to talk about an extension. He is considered to be the anchor of a young defensive front that is one of the best in the NFL. New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan just received a contract extension with $33.8 million in guarantee money. Wilkerson might eclipse that with New York or on the free agent market next year for a player of his caliber.
In May, things might have taken a turn when the Jets selected USC defensive end Leonard Williams with the 6th overall pick. Many considered Williams to be the best player in the draft and could be insurance if Wilkerson and the Jets could not strike a deal. For now, new Head Coach Todd Bowles will have his whole defensive line in practice for the first time this year. In day one of minicamp, the defense was dominant and was ahead of the offense as expected. This story will continue to develop and will be one of the biggest question marks for the Jets heading into training camp next month.