Muhammed Wilkerson
Muhammed Wilkerson will be released by the New York Jets (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets are turning the tide on what was starting to become a problem in the locker room. Wilkerson was set to earn $20 million this season but was now shown the door. Wilkerson was not producing like an elite player anymore like the former first-round pick from Temple showed in the early stages of his career. The move seemed to be a no-brainer considering the financial ramifications regarding his huge cap number.

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news:

The Jets will essentially eat 9 million in dead cap. However, freeing up $11 million seems to be worth their while. New York already had a ton of cap space heading into this offseason and figure to be big spenders out on the open market. The Jets figure to be one of the big players in the Kirk Cousins market and have already made it be known that they plan on doing whatever it takes to land the veteran quarterback.

Wilkerson signed a contract extension worth $86 million in the summer of 2016. Obviously, that has not worked out. Wilkerson notched 12 sacks in 2015 that prompted the giant payday. Wilkerson’s old deal had $37 million in guaranteed money so the former Jets defensive lineman will still earn a decent payday moving forward.

The Jets arguably had the best defensive line in football just a few years ago. Damon Harrison signed with the crosstown rival Giants. Sheldon Richardson was traded this past offseason to the Seattle Seahawks. Now the big Mo Wilkerson is gone too. Leonard Williams is now the only one that remains from that group. Williams is a budding star within the organization so from the looks of things that the team made the right call keeping Williams as the building block.