The Green Bay Packers landed Wilkerson on Tuesday night. Green Bay will continue to use a 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who coached Wilkerson early in his Jets tenure. Mike Pettine, the Packers' new defensive coordinator, was Wilkerson's defensive coordinator with NY when he was drafted in the first round in 2011. Wilkerson cashed in after that monster season, with the Jets viewing the 6-foot-4, 315-pound New Jersey native as a key piece to their fearsome defensive line.
Wilkerson spent the first seven years of his career with the New York Jets.
A one-year commitment at $5 million is hardly a steep price to pay for a former Pro Bowler, regardless of the impact Wilkerson provides in 2018.
Wilkerson, 28, was released by the Jets after a tumultuous 2017 season during which he had just 3.5 sacks, his lowest total since his rookie season.
That seemed to change, however, when he was signed to a five-year, $86 million contract extension before the 2016 campaign, according to Spotrac. The defensive tackle was benched for the final three games of the season after he was late to a team meeting, and as the relationship turned rocky it became obvious that Wilkerson would be hitting the free market.
Wilkerson peaked in 2015, when he recorded a career-high 12 sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl. After racking up 28.5 sacks from 2013 to 2015, he has managed a paltry eight quarterback takedowns in 28 games over the past two years. He can stop the run, rush the passer, and create interior pressure that wreaks havoc and opens opportunities for other players.