With the draft right around the corner, multiple teams have approached the Jets about a possible trade for defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Schefter, at least two teams, and possibly more, have contacted the Jets to inquire about Wilkerson.
Wilkerson, 25, has been one of the NFL’s best interior linemen since being selected 30th overall by the Jets in the 2011 draft. Over the last two seasons, he had accumulated 16.5 sacks, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him and teammate Sheldon Richardson as the best run-stoppers among 3-4 defensive ends in 2014.
Having played out the first four years of his rookie contract, Wilkerson is heading into his fifth-year option season, and will earn $6.969MM in 2015 if he isn’t extended. The Jets would like to work out a contract extension, and they should have plenty of cap room to make it happen, so I’d be surprised if the club seriously discussed a trade.
Still, with no bonus money remaining on his contract, the Jets wouldn’t take on any dead money if they moved Wilkerson this year. If the two sides aren’t close to an agreement on a extension, and a rival team willing to meet the defensive lineman’s contract demands was also willing to offer a significant trade package to New York, GM Mike Maccagnan would likely at least consider the possibility.