FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Thursday night just got a lot more interesting.
According to an ESPN report, at least two NFL teams have inquired about trading for Jets star defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.
Wilkerson has been a no-show during the team's voluntary workouts because of stalled contract talks between his representation and the Jets' front office. The former 2011 first-round pick is due to earn $6.96 million this season, well below the annual salary of star defensive linemen. But the Wilkerson camp has yet to reach an agreement on a long-term extension.
The interest in Wilkerson from other teams isn't surprising, but it's unlikely the Jets want to deal one of their best defensive players. "Around draft time, you hear a lot of different rumors and I try not to pay attention," coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday.
New general manager Mike Maccagnan has made it clear that extending Wilkerson is a priority, but he wants to get through this week's draft first.
Paying Wilkerson big money -- likely in the range of $40 million with $25 million guaranteed -- has major salary-cap implications, however. Within a few years, the Jets, who have already committed a lot of money to Darrelle Revis and David Harris, will have to work out a long-term deal for 2013 first-rounder Sheldon Richardson, and Wilkerson's contract will set the stage for those negotiations.
Notes & quotes:Calvin Pryor, Richardson and Jeremy Kerley were absent Tuesday, but Bowles didn't seem too concerned, saying, "It's voluntary and some guys had some things to do." . . . Players the Jets invited to try out during their three-day minicamp: QB Casey Pachall, RB David Fluellen, TE Sean McGrath, WR Aaron Mellette, DL Donte Rumph and S Lavelle Westbrooks.