Muhammad Wilkerson on his way to blowing a great thing

Discussion in 'New York Jets' started by James Hasty, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. James Hasty

    James Hasty Well-Known Member

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    Muhammad Wilkerson on his way to blowing a great thing
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    The pages of Muhammad Wilkerson's local kid makes it story are tarnished by his repeated disciplinary issues. Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports
    8:55 AM ET
    • [​IMG]
      Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer
    The first time I met Muhammad Wilkerson was April, 2011, a couple of weeks before he was drafted. We did an interview at his home in Linden, New Jersey, where he grew up a basketball standout but developed at Temple into an NFL prodigy. I had no idea he'd be picked by the New York Jets, but it seemed like a good idea for a story. Local kid makes good, ready to strike it rich.

    His family lived in a modest apartment, and we spoke there for about 20 minutes before walking across the street to a small park that included a dilapidated basketball court. We did a video interview on the court, and he talked about how it would be a dream come true for a Jersey kid to play for one of the local teams. He struck me as quiet, humble and hungry.

    Wilkerson's wish came true -- first round, 30th overall -- and I thought to myself, "This guy's got it made."

    His career arc climbed steadily for five years, resulting in a massive pay day. That's when it all turned. Now he's in the midst of a second straight disappointing season, coming off a game in which he was benched in the first quarter for showing up late to a meeting. Call it a tardy tradition; he's done it three years in a row.

    So now when I think about Wilkerson, my thoughts are, "This guy's blowing his career."

    He's ruining his Jersey story because he'll probably will be playing elsewhere next season. He's signed through 2020, but you don't need 20/20 vision to recognize he's no longer worth the contract. His salary next year is $16.75 million, which becomes guaranteed in early March (third day of the league year), but there's no chance he will be on the roster at that point -- unless he agrees to a pay cut. No team would pay that much for a 3-4 defensive end with only seven sacks in his last 27 games.

    With Wilkerson, it's not just the lack of production, it's the disciplinary issues. We're not talking about criminal stuff, but his chronic tardiness is troubling, especially this year because he's been trying to take a leadership role on the young defense. Leaders don't show up late for meetings. It's a poor example for the many rookies on the team.

    What Darron Lee did is worse -- late for a practice -- but he's a second-year player and a first-time offender. Wilkerson should know better, especially with his history.

    The organization, which had concerns about Wilkerson before it signed him to a five-year, $86 million contract in July, 2016, is tired of his act. Coach Todd Bowles rarely criticizes his players publicly, so he gave a predictable defense of Wilkerson on Monday, saying he still considers him a leader.

    "Yes, he is," Bowles said.

    Asked if he's cool with leaders showing up late for meetings, Bowles said, "I'm not OK with a lot of things, but I'm not going to sit here and give you a 10-page article on it."

    Make no mistake, Bowles isn't cool with it. He doesn't want players who challenge the team concept by doing selfish things. Mind you, Wilkerson vowed last year this wouldn't happen again. How many apologies is one player allowed?

    "The biggest thing is, we're family here, and sometimes families do different things," Bowles said. "At the end of the day, you love them up. You may be pissed off for a minute, (but) you get over it and move on."

    The Jets will move on, all right. Wilkerson probably is playing his final four games in a Jets uniform, and that's sad because he arrived with unlimited potential. He was on his way to putting his name in the rafters with the franchise greats, but something happened to change that -- injuries, lack of motivation, etc. Who knows?

    Wilkerson has a huge bank account ($50 million-plus in career earnings) and a Pro Bowl on his résumé, so it turned out to be a local-kid-makes-good story.

    But it should've been better than good.

     
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  2. Martin&theJETS

    Martin&theJETS Well-Known Member

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    I can’t see
     
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  3. BrowningNagle

    BrowningNagle Well-Known Member

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    only 4 games left until he gets his walking papers. good riddance too
     
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  4. Laxg41

    Laxg41 Well-Known Member

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    And now we draft his replacement in the first round......
     
  5. grkmanga31

    grkmanga31 Well-Known Member

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    One of few good Cimini articles so props to him, he's on the money with it. Wilkerson just isn't the same anymore and his production is not even remotely close to what it once was. As we were all clamoring for him to get an extension, we now know why the jets were so hesitant. This also is a black mark on Maccagnan.

    Even with a pay cut I rather just move on entirely. Both the Jets and Wilkerson need a clean break and that be that. Thanks for the years you played your ass off but right now Wilkerson is a detriment to what the Jets are trying to be. A team predicated on younger/hungrier talent rather than older, unproductive and expensive players.

    He'll be gone, just hope he doesn't go to a rival and lights it up.
     
  6. Peebag

    Peebag Well-Known Member

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    You can't have too many defensive lineman and safeties baby!
     
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  7. Mauldinthebeast

    Mauldinthebeast Well-Known Member

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    Get ready kids! And with the 10th pick the New York Jets select defensive end...
     
  8. jetophile

    jetophile Bruce Coslet's Daughter

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    It's a really crappy universal human trait to turn into a lazy entitled slob after hitting pay dirt. Then again, he could just be lazy. Or entitled. Or a slob.
     
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  9. pdxdrew

    pdxdrew Well-Known Member

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    Man. I wish the NBA didn't have guaranteed contracts. I can think of about four Trailblazers I'd love to have released.
     
  10. James Hasty

    James Hasty Well-Known Member

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    If we can cut Mo and bring Sheldon back at half the price (using the other half to keep Early) I would be on board with that.
     
  11. evojoe67

    evojoe67 Well-Known Member

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    Mo needs to go... he's a waste of $ and in no way a leader or positive influence on the younger guys.
     
  12. BacktoQueens

    BacktoQueens Well-Known Member

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    lol $heldon signing at half the price?
     
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  13. FJF

    FJF 2018 MVP Joe Namath Award Winner

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    To be fair,we never thought revis would sign a league minimum contract with anyone
     
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  14. The Waterboy

    The Waterboy Well-Known Member

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    Guaranteed his reasoning had to do with screwing the Jets one last time.
     
  15. BrowningNagle

    BrowningNagle Well-Known Member

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    He was getting his money from the Jets no matter what. The Jets are saving some money outta his Chiefs deal plus he helped us beat the Chiefs
     
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  16. Kris 15

    Kris 15 Well-Known Member

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    Screwing us out of a top draft pick!!1! :mad::mad::mad:
     
  17. Jetaho

    Jetaho Well-Known Member

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    To me, being late to meetings isn't a big deal so long as you play your ass off on Sunday. Mo hasn't played his ass off since 2015 and the lack of production just doesn't warrant keeping him around at that salary. Adios.
     
  18. Cman60

    Cman60 The Dark Admin, 2018 BEST Darksider Poster

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    I think with his crew gone (Sheldon and Snacks), Mo just doesn't seem to have the mojo he used to have with the Sons of Anarchy. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he decides to move on after this season either. Seems like his heart just isn't in it with this new group. Maybe I'm wrong but I just have this feeling....
     
  19. Mogriffjr

    Mogriffjr Well-Known Member

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    Jets will move on, Mo will have a good year next year at a discounted price because he will be healthy, Jet fans will get mad, Jets will sign a veteran in his place for about the same production.
     
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  20. Walt White

    Walt White Well-Known Member

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    I sense a bug up his ass about something...like he's let some personal dissatisfaction with the NFL and or some political grievance to take away from his attitude. I thought that going back to last year when I thought Sheldon and him were negative contracting together. Could be wrong tho
    Snacks on the other hand is a different guy. I pissed and moaned about losing Snacks. Snacks is a man's man and wouldn't get distracted like that, imo.
    Btw, when people here were calling for Mo to be signed I took some hits for stating he was being overrated by fans. He played when he was hurt for the team tho and I defended him then. Of course none of that is an excuse for a guy that signed the contract he did and not care more about his team mates and coaches.
     
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