Muhammad Wilkerson will be a highly coveted free agent if he hits the open market this offseason and while it's likely that the Jets will place the franchise tag on him before the March 1 deadline, the Giants could be a top landing spot for the talented defensive end if the Jets let him test free agency. The Giants pass-rush was non-existent in 2015 tallying just 23 sacks as a team. Wilkerson, 26, registered 12 quarterback takedowns on his own last season and would no doubt bolster Big Blue's defensive front.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan made resigning Wilkerson a top priority, and if the front office elects to use the franchise tender it will likely pay him in the range of $15 million for 2016.
It's hard to imagine that Gang Green would let the centerpiece of its defense saunter up the Jersey Turnpike, but stranger things have happened. It's important to consider that the Giants hold the No. 10 overall selection in the 2016 draft and a franchise-tag and trade scenario with Wilkerson would net the Jets a Top-10 pick.
The Jets are leaning towards bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick on a one or two year deal and second year pro Bryce Petty will need at least another year or two to develop.
Would the Jets entertain the idea of moving up in the draft to take a top tier quarterbak like Carson Wentz of North Dakota State or Jared Goff of California?
Possible, but not very likely.
Todd Bowles and Brandon Marshall have each offered a vote of confidence for Fitzpatrick and the Jets braintrust appears content using the veteran gunslinger as a stopgap option until Petty is ready for the pro level.
There are several talented edge rushers that will hit the open market this offseason including: Olivier Vernon, Bruce Irving, Danny Trevathan, and the Giants very own Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Giants would be better served to shift their focus away from Wilkerson and try to scour the free agent market and draft for other defensive ends and outside linebacker that can help upgrade a struggling defense.