Muhammad Wilkerson’s recovery from offseason surgery is “ahead of schedule.”
The Jets defensive end reported the promising news on Thursday to his Twitter followers, writing: “Great visit w/ Dr. Anderson 2day in NC. Leg responded gr8, starting rehab ahead of schedule. Anxious to get to work. Thx for all the support!.”
Wilkerson, 26, fractured his right fibula in the Jets’ 22-17 season-ending loss to the Bills in Week 17. The 2011 first-round pick underwent surgery last month after finishing the season with a career-high 12 sacks.
Though Wilkerson has been holding out hope for a contract extension since 2014, the Jets are expected to place the franchise tag on him, thereby keeping him under their control for the upcoming season.
NFL teams have until 4 p.m. on March 1 to designate franchise-tag players. If the Jets go that route with Wilkerson, he’ll be under contract for one year and paid a little more than $15 million for 2016 — the average of the five highest-paid players at his position.
Even if the organization uses the tag on him, the team has until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with Wilkerson. After that, according to the NFL, the two sides must wait until after the regular season to continue contract talks.