newsCO.com.au –Jets mailbag: When will they release Mo Wilkerson?

October 13, 2017

With the Jets at 3-2, heading into a first-place showdown Sunday against the Patriots, let’s take another look at your questions in the Jets’ mailbag:

Ian Damon (@IanDamon3)

Do you think the Jets will release Mo this offseason. Off to a slow start and now injuries … NYJ

The future of Muhammad Wilkerson is going to be a hot topic this season and into the offseason. The Jets signed him to a five-year, $86 million contract last summer, but like most NFL contracts it is not what it appears on the surface. The Jets can move on from Wilkerson somewhat painlessly in March after two years of the deal. Wilkerson’s 2018 salary of $16.75 million is not guaranteed until the third day of the league year in March.

At the moment, Wilkerson has no sacks and just one quarterback hurry. While I think he has played well against the run, clearly the Jets need more production from him as a pass rusher. They are not paying him big bucks to be a good run stuffer.

If Wilkerson does not improve, I think it is safe to assume he will be playing elsewhere next year.

But …

Here is one thing to watch: Wilkerson’s $16.75 million salary in 2018 is guaranteed for injury. That means if Wilkerson suffers a serious, season-ending injury this year, the Jets will be on the hook for him and he won’t be going anywhere. It is something to watch as Wilkerson is already dealing with shoulder and toe injuries. Neither of them appear to be overly serious right now, but Jets coach Todd Bowles did not rule out surgery on the toe when asked about it this week.

Jared Coven (@Jcova2188)

We know what kerley brings to the table, why aren’t we seeing more of chad hansen and ardarius stewart? #NYJ

Chad HansenBill Kostroun/New York Post

The Jets’ priority is winning, as hard as that seems to be for some fans to believe. Jeremy Kerley has been a key contributor in the first five weeks of the season. If the season gets away from the Jets and they have eight or nine losses at some point, the focus could shift to player development and then you will see more of the younger receivers. Right now, it’s about who gives them the best chance to win and that’s Kerley.

Paul J. DeGiacomo (@degiap01)

Bowles. Morton. McCown. Adams. Rank them in order of importance to the Jets success so far this season -thx

Bowles, McCown, Morton and Adams.

I think they all have been big parts of the success, but Todd Bowles deserves the most credit. He has this team playing hard for him.

Graham LeFloch (@graham_lefloch)

How can they get this d-line back to being dominant? Scheme? Different positions?

Drake C. (@DrizzyDaAries)

will ealy be a impact coming back, will todd & kacy play it safe or bring pressure on Brady with this injury

Paul Strauss (@paulsstrauss)

If Jets can’t stop the run this week they have no chance. How will they do it? Are they rotating DLs too frequently?

I’m going to group these three defensive line questions together. The line has not been dominant, but part of that is a function of what they are being asked to do. It is clear that the Jets defensive linemen are being asked to take up blockers and let the linebackers run free and make tackles. Part of the reason Demario Davis and Jamal Adams have looked so good is they are not being blocked on some plays when the defensive linemen are taking on double teams.

As for Kony Ealy, I do think he will play this week. I’m not sure how much of an impact he will have. He may not be back to 100 percent and the Patriots will be ready for him after his breakout game against the Jaguars.

I don’t think they have rotated defensive linemen too frequently. I think that has been a good adjustment by Bowles from previous years when he left guys on the field for too long, in my opinion. Stopping the run against the Patriots is difficult because of all of the talented backs they have. To me, though, that is far less important than figuring out a way to disrupt their passing game.

BO55_ATK (@Bo55ATK)

When do u think petty and hackenburg will get a chance to start

Not until the season is lost, thinking eight or nine losses.

Rick Jobin (@JOBES72)

are Jets projected to be in good salary cap situation for ’18 season?

Yes, they will have more than $80 million in cap space next year.

Max (@Jetup50)

Is it possible the Jets wait until 2019 to find the future Qb instead of trading up or reaching for a Qb in this draft?

I think the Jets will draft a quarterback in this draft, even if it is not in the first round. I could see them going for one in the second or third round, trying to find a value pick if they don’t land any of the big names at the top of the draft.

BL (@nyrfan1976)

Who finishes with more wins this season jets or giants?

It’s amazing this is a question. I had picked the Giants to go to the Super Bowl and the Jets to go 2-14, so that shows what I know. I think the Jets will finish with more wins than the Giants. They already have a three-game head start and the Giants look like a total mess right now.

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