The Jets reportedly intend to use their franchise tag on Muhammad Wilkerson within the next couple weeks, but that doesn’t mean Wilkerson won’t have suitors this offseason. Given the Jets’ depth at defensive end, the team is expected to at least listen to trade offers for Wilkerson, and it sounds like the standout defender wants to make it clear that he’s recovering from well from the broken leg that ended his season last month.
“Great visit w/ Dr. Anderson 2day in NC,” Wilkerson tweeted today. “Leg responded gr8, starting rehab ahead of schedule. Anxious to get to work. Thx for all the support!”
Wilkerson’s leg injury was never expected to sideline him for any of the 2016 season, but the fact that he’s ahead of schedule in the rehab process is a good sign for the Jets and for any teams that may be considering making a play for him in the coming weeks.
Let’s check in on several more updates from out of the NFL’s East divisions…
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Chase Daniel will be a “name to watch” this offseason for the Eagles. Daniel, a free-agent-to-be, has been previously linked to Philadelphia, due to the team’s hiring of former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. Rapoport suggests the Eagles’ new head coach views Daniels as “more than a backup.”
- John Keim of ESPN.com and Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports each examine the Kirk Cousins contract situation in Washington, with Keim suggesting the team must maintain future cap flexibility, with many other extension candidates on deck in a year or two. As for Garafolo, he still sees the franchise tag as the most likely outcome for Cousins, since the quarterback has far more leverage at this point than Washington does.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t a franchise quarterback, but he’s a great bridge option for the Jets, who must re-sign him, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini projects a three-year, $24MM pact, including $12MM guaranteed, for Fitzpatrick, whom the ESPN scribe expects to be back in New York next season.
- Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald expects the Dolphins to either lock up Olivier Vernon to a multiyear contract or use their franchise tag on him, since “it makes no sense” to allow a young pass rusher like Vernon to reach the open market.
- Although Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has the Cowboys selecting Jared Goff with the No. 4 overall selection, Todd Archer of ESPN.com remains skeptical that Dallas will use that pick on a quarterback.