Around this time last year, speculation began that the New York Jets would part ways with Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. Shortly after he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2013 first-round pick that became defensive end Sheldon Richardson. Most likely Gang Green will also receive Tampa Bay’s third-round selection this year. Perception immediately from outside became that New York was starting over by trading their best player.
Well, it appears that such an issue will not reoccur with budding superstar defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, at least for now. According to reports, he does not plan on conducting a holdout this offseason. Wilkerson is under contract through 2015 and insists that getting an extension does not serve as a priority. He still reportedly desires more money.
Given the disappointment that followed after Revis’ departure, one can understand any concern from their fan base. Releasing quarterback Mark Sanchez, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and receiver Santonio Holmes saves enough money to make this possible. These three players are suddenly expendable for different reasons. Sanchez needs a fresh start after regressing over recent seasons. Cromartie dealt with injury last year, but performed poorly while getting burned constantly. Holmes is no longer worth the headache after dealing with health problems as well as subpar play.
They can all be replaced either in this year’s draft or free agency. Keeping Wilkerson happy is imperative for head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik. I expect the emerging defensive force to build on his 10.5 sacks from last season while leading Gang Green’s talented defensive line.