AFC East Notes: Jets, Dolphins

The latest news regarding a pair of AFC East clubs:

  • Fifth-year Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson – making just under $7MM this year – is due for a new contract in the offseason, which he says has motivated him this season. “I know that I’m underpaid right now and I’m gonna play like … I’m somebody that needs to be paid,” Wilkerson told Steve Serby of the New York Post. Wilkerson has four straight seasons of at least five sacks – including seven already this year – and knows he’ll be on the receiving end of a blockbuster payday in the offseason. He just isn’t sure which team will give it to him. “[S]omebody’ll pay me if the Jets don’t,” he said. The Jets weren’t able to lock up Wilkerson during the summer, and the 26-year-old shut down negotiations entering the season because he didn’t want them to serve as a distraction.
  • Like Wilkerson, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie could also be in another uniform in 2016. As Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes, Cromartie has struggled this season and what’s left of the four-year, $32MM deal he signed last winter won’t be difficult for the Jets to get out of during the offseason. Unlike Wilkerson, the 31-year-old Cromartie isn’t concerned about his long-term status. “The only thing I can control is finishing this year on a high note. That’s it. I can’t put myself in a position where I’m thinking, ‘What’s going to happen after this season?’ My goal is to try to help bring a Super Bowl here.”
  • Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell has gone 3-2 since taking over for the fired Joe Philbin and has his team in the playoff hunt in the AFC. While it’s unlikely that 4-5 Miami ultimately reaches the postseason, it could help Campbell’s cause that he and Dolphins football czar Mike Tannenbaum have a good relationship. “He’s really just helped me get my feet wet here,” Campbell told Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. “I would say a lot of it is behind-the-scenes-type things that he’s helped me take care of, from who sits on the plane to handling things down at the stadium.” Added Tannenbaum, “Dan and I have a great partnership. We collaborate and discuss a lot of different things.”
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