Packers To Sign Muhammad Wilkerson

The Packers have agreed to terms with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), and Wilkerson will collect $5MM with the chance to earn $3MM via incentives, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Green Bay was the first free agent stop for Wilkerson following his release from the Jets, but the Packers were hardly the only club interested in the former All-Pro. The Chiefs, Saints, and Redskins all took visits with Wilkerson, while the Raiders were reportedly also eyeing Wilkerson.

With the Packers, Wilkerson will reunite with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who now holds the same title in Green Bay. He’ll also be sticking in a 3-4 scheme, and will play his familiar defensive end position alongside Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and the rest of the Packers’ defensive line.

Wilkerson, of course, was once one of the premier defensive players in the NFL, but he hasn’t been the same since inking a massive extension with the Jets in 2016. Not only has Wilkerson reportedly had problems with effort, tardiness, and coaches, put his play has slipped, as well. Last year, the 28-year-old appeared in 13 games but graded as just the 50th-best interior defender in the league, per Pro Football Focus. While that was an improvement from his dismal 2016 campaign, Wilkerson was still a far cry from his 2011-15 heyday.

The Packers have now signed two free agents — Wilkerson and tight end Jimmy Graham — before the market even officially opens. That’s a new approach from Green Bay’s front office, which is now headed by Brian Gutekunst, who is apparently more willing than former GM Ted Thompson to engage in the first wave of free agent activity.

Heading into the free agent period, Wilkerson ranked as PFR’s No. 3 interior defensive lineman and No. 16 overall free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 comments on “Packers To Sign Muhammad Wilkerson

  1. Bearmeat

    I didn’t like the Nelson/Graham swap, but this is a good signing. Now find a couple mid-tier cheap CBs and a speed WR on the cheap…

    • brewcrew08

      We don’t know the graham terms yet. Not to mention TE was more of a position of need than WR. Plus Graham is almost two years younger than Jordy.

    • Connorsoxfan

      I thought John Brown for ARZ would’ve been a good fit but he signed elsewhere already.

    • busta37

      Hopefully wilk won’t be a slack dog like he’s been since he signed his extension with the jets.

  2. leprechaun

    One year deal give him incentive to get his act together I like it for Green Bay. Then next year he walks get 4-5 year deal and goes into the toilet again for someone else

    • mackows2

      no one will ever give this guy a 4/5 year deal at this point, 3 at the very most

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