Todd Bowles said Monday that the Jets will have internal discussions about the playing status of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, their highest-paid player.
Wilkerson was suspended for Sunday’s game at New Orleans because he was late to a team meeting. It’s the second time this season he was disciplined for the same offense. He sat for nearly the entire first quarter Dec. 3 against the Chiefs because of tardiness the day before.
After Wilkerson was late last Friday, Bowles had seen enough and decided to bench him. On Monday, Wilkerson attended meetings at the Jets’ training facility. The coach would not get into specifics of who also may have attended that meeting.
“Internal means internal,” Bowles said.
What does that mean?
“It’s not meant for you to mean,” Bowles said. “When we make a decision, we’ll let (the media) know.”
This latest issue, with the season nearing its end, could force the team to release Wilkerson next year. His 2018 salary of $16.75 million would be fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year in March. If Wilkerson were released before then, the Jets would save $11 million on the salary cap and would have $9 million in dead money.
Releasing Wilkerson now would serve no purpose from a salary-cap standpoint. If he reached the open market, a team could sign him for the postseason. The Jets would not be in favor of letting him go this month unless they can’t reach an agreement to make sure he attends meetings promptly.
“It’s an internal thing and we haven’t worked through everything,” Bowles said.
Williams in concussion protocol
The other starting defensive end, Leonard Williams, suffered a concussion Sunday. Bowles said he’s in the concussion protocol and improving. Williams was injured early in the third quarter and didn’t return. He had five tackles and an interception.