Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New York Jets could be saving money on Wilkerson to pay Richardson

Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract situation is by far the biggest news surrounding the Jets as minicamp ends. For all of Geno Smith’s inconsistencies, Willie Colon’s commentary and Antonio Cromartie’s Twitter wars, those storyline's pale in comparison to Wilkerson.

New York’s All-Pro defensive end is entering the final year of his contract and despite Mike Maccagnan calling an extension a “priority” for the Jets, the team’s actions paint a different picture. With Sheldon Richardson’s contract due up after the 2017 season, assuming the Jets exercise his fifth-year option, are the Jets realizing they can’t pay both?

The Jets have just over $5 million in salary cap space available this season, according to Spotrac. Next season, that number jumps to around $18 million and balloons to $42 million in 2017. While some of that extra money must be used to fill out the roster, the Jets could be in a much better financial situation to dole out big money to a star defensive end next season or the year after instead of this year.

Wilkerson currently counts for about $7 million against this season’s cap and if he truly wants “Suh money” like the outspoken Richardson said last week, that number would rise about $10 million if the extension included the 2015 season. Since the Jets can’t afford that, any extension would have to kick in starting next year, when the team has $18 million to play with.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

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