Mo Wilkerson who is trying to get a long term contract from the Jets has been named the team's franchise player. If he signs his tender, he will get $16MM for one year. Speculation is that Wilkerson may hold out from training camp and the season in protest of not getting a long term extension.
Being the elder statesman of the Jets' defensive line, someone will have to step up in that leadership role. Who will that be and who will the pressure fall on?
The easy answer is Sheldon Richardson who is the second best player on the Jets' line at present. For sure he will be expected to step up, however, some argue that the pressure will fall on second year man Leonard Williams.
Williams, who had success his rookie season with 63 tackles and 3 sacks is expected to break out this year with a full off-season of conditioning and practice under his belt. With Wilkerson in the mix it alleviates Williams' pressure of instantly becoming an impact player. If Mo is absent, Williams will be expected to perform at a very high level.
Recently on SNY former Jets OL Willie Colon said the pressure would fall on Williams.
"If he (Wilkerson) doesn't show up, now you are putting the emphasis on Leonard. If Leonard has to go to a point where he has to fill more roles, concentrate more and be the ultimate pro, I'm not comfortable with that. I just want him to ball. Let the guy grow."
Jets fans are hoping both sides can work something out and it never has to come to this.