When Muhammad Wilkerson signed a new five-year $85 million deal everyone outside of the Jets facilities was surprised a deal was reached. Jets fans were delightfully surprised and happy to get to continue to root for one of their favorite players for years to come, but no one was happier about the process being over than Wilkerson himself.
"I'm just happy to get a deal done," Wilkerson said. " That that part of the situation is over with and now I can just focus on football and get ready for the season."
The negotiating through the media got contentious at times, Wilkerson himself said it felt like the Jets didn't value him, but that's just a part of the game. Wilkerson is a very intelligent person and after five years in this business he understands that this process is just a part of that business.
"You know, it's part of the business and going into my sixth season I know how the business works," Wilkerson said. "That's how the NFL works, it's a business but I'm proud to expirence it and now that it's over with I can just focus on getting back into the locker room with my teammates and continue to be the leader that I am on this team."
Now Wilkerson can turn his attention solely to rehabbing and football and he's happy to be able to do that in the same state that raised him.
"I definitely wanted to be here," Wilkerson said. "I'm from New Jersey, I'm from here. My family is here, I wanted to raise my children here. I'm very excited to be here."
Wilkerson said he's not sure when he'll be able to join his teammates back out on the practice field again, he gave the standard 'whatever the strength and training coaches and doctors say' response, but the important part is he said the "rehab is going well, I'm running four times every week. Just taking it day by day" and most importantly he said he'll be ready for Week One of the regular season.
With Wilkerson now officially back in the fold for this year we can start to wonder just how good this defense will be for year two under Todd Bowles.
"Sky is the limit with this defense. We could be as good as we want to be as long as everybody putting in the work each and every day and everybody is pushing each other," Wilkerson said. "Everybody should come out on the field and want to be great and also push each other to be great and I think we can be as good as we want to be. We had a good record last year, 10-6, and we just have to build off of that."
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)