Per Ian Rapoport, New York Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson is expected to be released today and that his first free agent visit will most likely be with Green Bay.
Wilkerson, a former second-round pick from the 2011 NFL draft, just finished up the second year of 5-year, $86 million contract and has 44.5 sacks over his seven year career. His biggest connection to the Packers is through new Green Bay Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine, who held the same position with the Jets from 2009-2012. Wilkerson played under Pettine for the first two seasons of his career, tallying 8 sacks, 71 tackles, and 4 forced fumbles. The seven-year pro’s best season came in 2015, when he registered 12 sacks in 16 games and also managed to defend 7 passes, a large number for a defensive lineman. Since then, Wilkerson has struggled to live up to his contract, with only 8 total sacks in the past two seasons combined.
Green Bay would be especially interested in a free agent like Wilkerson due to the fact that he would be classified as a “street free agent”, in other words his contract was terminated by his previous team instead of expiring, and therefore won’t count against the compensatory pick formula. If Green Bay were to sign Wilkerson to a contract, expect for it to be only one or two years and heavy with incentives. Pairing Wilkerson with fellow defensive lineman Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and Dean Lowry would give Green Bay a fearsome defensive line that could certainly ease the defensive transition from Dom Capers to Mike Pettine.