The Jets have officially exercised their fifth-year option on Muhammad Wilkerson for the 2015 season, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. We heard last night when word of several other option pickups broke that Wilkerson’s was believed to be one of them, and now Mehta has confirmed as much.
Wilkerson, 24, recorded 64 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 2013 for the Jets, and played more defensive snaps (1,067) than any other 3-4 defensive end, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The heavy workload didn’t seem to affect Wilkerson’s production — he ranked as the eighth-best player at his position out of 45 qualified 3-4 defensive ends, according to PFF’s grades, despite some penalty issues.
The Jets and Wilkerson are both open to the idea of negotiating a longer-term deal, though a club source told Mehta last month that while talks could be revisited later this summer, the two sides are more likely to reach an agreement after the 2014 season. For now, Wilkerson’s rookie contract will be extended by one year. He’ll earn $1.2MM in 2014 before seeing his salary bumped up to $6.969MM in 2015. That 2015 salary is currently guaranteed for injury only, though it will become fully guaranteed on the first day of the ’15 league year.