AFC Notes: Wilkerson, Geno, Collins, Browns

With newly drafted defensive lineman Leonard Williams in the fold, Muhammad Wilkerson‘s time with the Jets could be running out, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Despite being one of the Jets’ best players, Wilkerson is without a contract beyond next season and, per Mehta, the team isn’t eager to give him a new deal. Mehta argues that it doesn’t make financial sense to dole out big bucks to Wilkerson, especially with fellow lineman Sheldon Richardson under team control through 2017 and cornerback Darrelle Revis signed to a long-term mega-deal.

While the Jets might not be able to go forward with all three as anchors of their defense, Mehta believes they could slap the franchise tag on Wilkerson next offseason and trade him for a first-round pick. For now, rookie Jets coach Todd Bowles will enjoy having Wilkerson as a key cog in what should be a dominant D-line, but it doesn’t seem as if the four-year veteran will be a part of it beyond the 2015 campaign.

Here’s more on the Jets and some of their fellow AFC teams:

  • Despite adding Ryan Fitzpatrick via trade and Bryce Petty via the draft, the Jets will enter training camp with Geno Smith atop the quarterback depth chart, Fitzpatrick as his main backup, and Petty and Matt Simms fighting for third-string duties, Bowles tells Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link).
  • The Chargers did “as much as work as [they] could” in researching La’el Collins, but they simply couldn’t take the risk due to lack of information, general manager Tom Telesco tells Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune (via Twitter). Broncos GM John Elway said the same thing (Twitter link via Lindsay Jones of USA Today), and I imagine nearly every team’s front office felt the same way.
  • The Browns didn’t end up drafting a quarterback, but GM Ray Farmer says that wasn’t by design. Farmer adds that the club’s grades simply didn’t match up with availability (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal).

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

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