The Green Bay Packers have reportedly agreed to contract terms with former New York Jets defensive end Mo Wilkerson. Rob Demovsky of ESPN first reported the news on Twitter.
The Packers agree to terms with Mo Wilkerson, a source said. https://t.co/BuV0bZKDD7
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) March 14, 2018
Wilkerson has spent seven years with the Jets, but his last season there turned into a bitter one. He was benched for the final three games for missing a team meeting. This was the fourth time since 2015 that disciplinary action was taken against Wilkerson for his tardiness.
The Jets will shed Wilkerson’s $16.75 million salary for 2018, which would have been fully guaranteed after March 16. Wilkerson was released earlier this month and has had a few meetings with other interested teams.
Wilkerson was a stud during his first years in the league, peaking in 2015 with 12 sacks and his first Pro Bowl appearance. However, he has teetered off if recent years, recording only 8 sacks in 28 games played. There was some speculation within the organization that Wilkerson had lost the drive to play the game.
This is the second big free agent signing for the Packers today. Earlier, they signed tight end Jimmy Grahm and released wide receiver Jordy Nelson to make cap space available.
This is a pretty big gamble for the Packers. They did not have that much cap room to be cute with and had to release one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets. Wilkerson has not been his Pro Bowl self over the last few seasons. If he has lost his love for football, this deal may be a short one. If he can return to his Pro Bowl playing style, it will pay off big time for the Packers.