The New York Jets are traveling to New Orleans this weekend without two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Mo Wilkerson due to a “coach’s decision.”
Now we know a bit more about why head coach Todd Bowles is leaving Wilkerson behind. According to Darryl Slater and Connor Hughes of NJ Advanced Media, Wilkerson isn’t traveling with the Jets because he was late for a team meeting on Friday.
“A source told NJ Advance Media’s Connor Hughes that the reason is this: Wilkerson arrived late to Friday morning’s team meeting. Tardiness continues to be an issue for him, and it now looks likelier that the Jets will decide to part ways with him after this season.”
And according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, it wasn’t just a few minutes late, either.
Mo Wilkerson was VERY late to the Jets facility today, which is why he was suspended, according to a source. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this isn’t a one-game punishment, either … https://t.co/IbMfle7NvD
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) December 15, 2017
The Jets can save $11 million by cutting Wilkerson this offseason. The 28-year-old signed an $86 million extension in July 2016 after racking up 28.5 sacks in his previous three seasons.
However, since then his performance hasn’t lived up to that high price tag. And behavioral issues have continued to plague him at a time when he’s supposed to be in his prime.
There are also reports out there that the Jets think Wilkerson takes plays off.
It’s widely believed he’ll be either cut or traded before the 2018 season begins. Though, given his gargantuan contract, it’s hard to believe another team would be willing to part with draft picks to land him at this point.