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Howard signs RFA tender

Austin Howard and Mark Sanchez stand during a

Austin Howard and Mark Sanchez stand during a huddle during their preseason game against the Panthers at MetLife Stadium. (Aug. 26, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

The Jets announced Monday that right tackle Austin Howard has signed his restricted free agent tender.

Howard, who reported for the team’s voluntary workouts, was tendered at the second-level, worth $2.023 million in salary.

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Rex Ryan’s message to his players was clear, said Muhammad Wilkerson. The 2013 Jets need to be more aggressive.

“At the end of the day, we just have to be more physical,” the defensive lineman said via conference call. “More physical than everybody, and as of right now, we have to get strong as a team and focus on the little things so come September we're ready to go.”

Despite the recent roster fluctuation, Wilkerson said he’s “real confident” in the current team. “To play in this league you have to have some type of talent and I feel like we have talent on both sides of the ball,” he said. “It’s a fresh start. We just have to come out and ball.”

Wilkerson, who expects to assume more of a leadership role on defense this season, said he's “keeping his ears closed” to all the criticisms regarding his team.

Wilkerson also added that Quinton Coples – his fellow D-lineman and Hargrove Academy teammate -- has been doing Mixed Martial Arts training to stay in shape.

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