Just a few days ago Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said the team wasn't "actively shopping" Muhammad Wilkerson but he certainly didn't rule it out. Now comes word from the University of Florida pro day where Tony Pauline is reporting that the Jets are indeed shopping Wilkerson.
Between the Jets cap situation, their two-year long failure to come anywhere close to a deal with Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams being on the roster it's hardly a surprise that the Jets would not only listen to offers for Wilkerson but also actively shop him. Wilkerson is great and any team would be improved by his presence, including the Jets, but because of Richardson and Williams the $15.7 million cap hit Wilkerson takes is more valuable to the Jets than the actual player.
Pauline drops this nugget of information after talking about Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard. Pauline said "Bullard looked phenomenal in drills, displaying tremendous athleticism, agility and power. He was able to bend, displayed violent punch with his hands and easily moved about the field. Bullard met with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans.
"I'm also told the New York Jets like Bullard, whom they would consider if they trade Muhammad Wilkerson. And the word coming from Florida pro day is the Jets are shopping Wilkerson. Whether the team can get a deal done anytime soon is another thing all together."
As the Jets continue to spend money in free agency, money that they don't currently have under the cap, while still needing to sign a quarterback and address other needs it becomes fairly obvious that the Jets think they can, and probably will, trade Wilkerson. So, what could they get for him?
Any fans dreaming about a first-round pick need to stop that dream. The most realistic offer in a second and a fourth this year or a second this year and a conditional second or third next year. This would give Maccagnan more draft picks to replenish the talent pool and speed up the process of building through the draft and free up $15 million in cap space that could be used elsewhere. Yes, it would've been more beneficial for this year to have traded Wilkerson before free agency but that flexibility doesn't expire and Maccagnan can eventually put all those chips to good use.
The question is, will the Jets find any takers? Chances are we'll have to wait until closer to draft time.