Muhammad Wilkerson

Extra Points: Supplemental Draft, Bucs, McDowell, Wilkerson

The 2019 Supplemental Draft is tomorrow, and just like last year we could see a lot of action. Before last season, when two players were taken, there had only been one selection since 2013. This year, it seems likely that two players will get taken again, Washington State safety Jalen Thompson and West Virginia receiver Marcus Simms. Thompson is more highly regarded by the scouting community, and has been drawing a lot of interest. He met with the Packers earlier today, and 26 teams attended his workout yesterday. To help get you prepared for tomorrow, Dane Brugler of The Athletic studied game tape of both players and wrote up detailed scouting reports.

He notes that while Thompson is a “terrific athlete” and good in coverage, he’s also “undersized for the safety position.” There’s been some speculation that Thompson may have to switch to corner at the pro level. Brugler gives Thompson a third or fourth round grade. Brugler writes that Simms is a burner with excellent speed, but that his route-running isn’t very well developed. As a “best-case NFL player projection,” Brugler lists Kenny Stills, while giving Stills a fifth-to-seventh round grade. We’ll know the results of the draft tomorrow afternoon.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Things reportedly aren’t going well between rookie first-round pick Josh Jacobs and the Raiders. There’s a holdup in negotiations over his rookie deal, and it looks like Jacobs isn’t going to report to training camp in a couple of weeks. Don’t expect anything similar for linebacker Devin White and the Buccaneers. The fifth overall pick in April’s draft is going to sign “any day now,” and “you can bet he won’t miss a meeting,” writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The Bucs are counting on White to play a huge role for their revamped defense, so it’s good to hear there’s no drama surrounding his contract.
  • A couple of weeks ago we heard that free agent defensive lineman Malik McDowell had been arrested, and now we have video of the incident, courtesy of TMZ Sports. In the video, McDowell can be seen getting tased, and then attempting to fight the arresting officer after pulling the taser prongs out. McDowell was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round back in 2017, but never played a game for them. He suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident before his rookie training camp, and the Seahawks never cleared him to return. McDowell has reportedly been cleared to play by independent doctors, and recently met with the Cowboys, but nothing materialized. Back in May, the Seahawks filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup some of McDowell’s signing bonus.
  • Free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the biggest names left on the market. He was arrested for DWI at the beginning of June, which could be delaying his signing. Wilkerson recently appeared in court, and turned down a plea deal prosecutors offered him, per Shayna Jacobs and Sarah Valenzuela of the New York Daily News. Wilkerson’s attorney said it was “telling” that they offered the deal, and seemed confident his client would get off. After spending seven seasons with the Jets, Wilkerson signed a one-year deal with the Packers last season. A serious ankle injury ended his first year in Green Bay after just a few games. Wilkerson is still capable of playing at a high level, and should sign somewhere soon.

Extra Points: CBA, Jets GM Search, Wilkerson, Ravens

Fears of a potential future lockout picked up again earlier this week, when we learned the NFLPA was telling agents to advise their clients to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021, when the current CBA expired. Turns out, things might not be so dire after all. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote about that leak, as well as the recent rumors the league would push for an 18-game regular season, and he thinks it’s all performative. La Canfora writes that both sides have to publicly posture, and that “no one wants to give off the air they are rolling over too much.”

La Canfora hears that preliminary negotiations are actually going very well, noting that the NFL and NFLPA “seem more aligned than anytime in recent memory.” In regards to an 18-game schedule or work stoppage, he says he’s “yet to speak to anyone on either side who envisioned either of these scenarios actually playing out.” One source told La Canfora that “everyone involved in this process feels really good about the negotiations.” Interestingly, La Canfora predicts that an “extra playoff game will be added to each conference,” and roster sizes will be expanded when it’s all said and done.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Jets’ general manager search continues to barrel on, but a resolution seems increasingly near. Eagles exec Joe Douglas has been viewed as the favorite for a while now, and La Canfora goes even further. In the same piece, La Canfora writes that “sources said there was already some contact between those parties prior to Douglas’ scheduled formal interview, and people in other front offices would be shocked if he does not take this job.” He adds that Douglas “will be the team’s next general manager barring some unforeseen breakdown between the sides.” La Canfora also scoops that if things do unexpectedly go sideways in the negotiations, “then Chicago exec Champ Kelly, who also has a prior relationship with Adam Gase, is viewed as the next in line.”
  • We found out earlier tonight that free agent Muhammad Wilkerson had been arrested and charged with DWI, and now we have more details. Wilkerson admitted to drinking, telling officers he “had one shot and two beers,” per Rebecca Rosenberg and Larry Celona of the New York Post. Wilkerson had some tough luck, as he was just barely over the legal limit. Wilkerson apparently had a BAC of .09, only slightly above the legal limit of .08. It’s unclear if that will help with his potential discipline from the league, but it could potentially earn him some leniency.
  • We have an update on the Ravens’ two rookie wide receivers, courtesy of Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). First round pick Marquise Brown is still recovering from his Lisfranc foot surgery, and “training camp remains the hope for his return.” Initially the hope was minicamp back in March, but that turned out not to be the case. Meanwhile the Ravens’ third round pick, Miles Boykin, is dealing with a hamstring strain, and Zrebiec writes he “should be getting closer to return.” Boykin and Brown are the only two of the Ravens’ draft picks not to sign yet, although that’s likely not related to their respective injuries. Still, it’s not great that they’re having to miss significant portions of their first offseason.

Muhammad Wilkerson Arrested For DWI

Free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was arrested and charged with DWI early Saturday morning, according to ABC 7 New York.

This surely won’t help Wilkerson, who has had a surprisingly quiet market, find a job. Wilkerson spent last season with the Packers, but wasn’t able to play much. After just three games, his season was ended by a serious ankle injury. There was initially some concern Wilkerson’s injury could effect him longterm, but it was then announced he was going to make a full recovery.

Considering no one has signed him yet, it’s possible his recovery didn’t go as well as expected. We heard back in early March before the start of free agency that there was “mutual interest” between the veteran and the Packers on him returning to Green Bay for a second season, but nothing materialized.

Even though he isn’t at the level he once was, Wilkerson is still easily one of the top names left on the market. Wilkerson entered the league as a first round pick of the Jets back in 2011, and became a very good player in New York. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and was a second-team All-Pro in 2013 and 2015.

Wilkerson has always been able to fill up a stat sheet, and play well stuffing the run while also getting after the passer. He had 12 sacks in 2015, and the Temple product is still only 29. Wherever he ends up signing, it’s quite possible if not likely that he’ll now be facing discipline from the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Compensatory Pick Formula Ends Today

Starting at 4pm ET/3pm CT, any unrestricted free agent that signs with a new team will not count towards the 2020 compensatory draft pick formula, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This should quickly accelerate the market for several free agents of note, including:

Compensatory picks are given to teams that lose a greater number of compensatory free agents (or, a greater quality of free agents) than they acquire. The complicated formula that dictates how the picks are dispersed is not disclosed to the public, but teams are wary of signing even lower impact UFAs while it is in effect.

But, when the formula is turned off, veteran free agents should start flying off of the board.

Packers Rumors: Perry, Wilkerson, Campbell

The latest out of Green Bay:

  • Outside linebacker Nick Perry wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers declined to pay his $4.8MM roster bonus due on March 15, a source close to Perry tells Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter). However, Perry isn’t sure if the Packers would offer a restructure or just move on in that scenario. Perry landed on IR in November with a knee injury and finished out with a career-low 1.5 sacks. The Packers happily re-upped him on a five-year, $60MM extension in 2017, but he’s missed eleven games since then.
  • There’s “mutual interest” between the Packers and defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson for next season, a source tells Demovsky (on Twitter). Wilkerson joined the Packers on a one-year, $5MM deal last year and he’s probably looking at another prove-it deal if he wants to stay in Green Bay. The ex-Jet appeared in just three games last year before an ankle injury wiped out his season.
  • The Packers still have an interest in bringing back free agent safety Ibraheim Campbell, according to Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). However, Campbell suffered a torn ACL against the Cardinals in December, which the team didn’t disclose. The safety, who was effective in his three games for the Packers, could be ready by training camp and brought back.

Packers’ Wilkerson To Make Full Recovery

It’s rare that a season-ending ankle surgery produces good news, but that’s exactly what happened for Muhammad Wilkerson. There was some concern that Wilkerson’s injury would affect his football future, but Dr. Robert Anderson has informed him that he’ll make a full recovery, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Wilkerson suffered the fractured ankle in Week 3 against the Redskins and the Packers placed him on IR soon after. The painful injury is undoubtedly frustrating for Wilkerson, especially since he joined Green Bay on a one-year platform contract, but it’s not as bad as it could have been.

Wilkerson registered just five tackles through three games this year, but Pro Football Focus rated him in the top 30 for interior defensive linemen. There should be a market for Wilkerson once he returns to full health, though his next deal will be worth a lot less than the five-year, $86MM extension he inked with the Jets in 2016.

Ideally, teams would like to see Wilkerson get back to the form he exhibited in 2015 when he registered 12 sacks en route to a Pro Bowl selection. Wilkerson’s effort and performance slipped over the next two years, forcing the Jets to release him in spite of costly cap implications.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Place Muhammad Wilkerson On IR

We learned earlier this week that Packers defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was done for the season after undergoing surgery. Today, the team officially placed the 28-year-old on the injured reserve, according to Packers.com. Cornerback Tony Brown has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

Wilkerson suffered some sort of ankle ailment last Sunday’s contest, and the injury has only been described as “significant.” It’s a tough blow for Wilkerson, who was looking to recoup his free agent value after two straight underwhelming seasons. The veteran signed a one-year, $5MM deal with the Packers this offseason, and he had the ability to make an additional $3MM via incentives. The former first-round pick failed to impress through his first three games with Green Bay, compiling only five tackles. For the time being, the team will have to turn to Dean Lowry to start alongside Mike Daniels.

Wilkerson was once one of the top defensive players in the NFL, but he’s seen a decline in production since inking a lucrative extension with the Jets back in 2016. Wilkerson reportedly had problems with effort, tardiness, and coaches during his last few years in New York. Last year, the lineman appeared in 13 games, but he graded as just the 50th-best interior defender in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

Brown, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama, signed with the Packers’ practice squad after being cut by the Chargers. He was touted for his special teams ability during his time in college.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers’ Mo Wilkerson Done For Season

Packers defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson done for the season after undergoing surgery, ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky tweets. Exact details of the injury and procedure are not known, but it’s enough to shelve him for the year. 

The Packers signed Wilkerson to a one-year, $5MM deal in March with the opportunity to earn $3MM in incentives. The terms of the incentives package were not revealed, but it’s unlikely that he has earned much in the way of bonuses after just three games on the field.

Wilkerson 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. Wilkerson reportedly had problems with effort, tardiness, and coaches and his level of play slipped as well. Last year, the 28-year-old (29 in October) appeared in 13 games but graded as just the 50th-best interior defender in the league, per Pro Football Focus. This year, Wilkerson tallied five tackles and zero sacks in three starts at defensive end for Green Bay.

Without Wilkerson, the Packers may promote defensive end Dean Lowry to the starting lineup. They’ll also have to make at one addition to the DE group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Julio Jones, Falcons, 49ers, Richburg, Packers, Wilkerson

The Falcons have had to do right by a lot of players recently. They’ve doled out extensions to Devonta Freeman and Matt Ryan and still need to lock up Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews. Ricardo Allen has also been angling for a new deal. On top of all this, star receiver Julio Jones has made clear his unhappiness with his current contract, and held out of mandatory minicamp in protest.

The team recently informed Jones they had no plans to sweeten his deal, which still has three years remaining on it. Jones is looking at it from the wrong perspective, argues Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bradley thinks that since the Falcons budgeted for the rest of their players under the assumption Jones would play out his deal, it isn’t fair of him to ask the team for a raise. Bradley writes that Jones’ demands are due to “wounded pride” at being the NFL’s seventh-highest paid receiver. It’s unclear how Jones will respond to Atlanta’s refusal, but the team certainly doesn’t want its best player this unhappy. It wouldn’t be surprising if the two sides come to some sort of agreement on additional incentives or some other measure that will satisfy Jones.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

NFC Contract Details: Cousins, Bradford, Poe

Here are figures on some of the recent contracts signed around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise.