Packers make deal with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

Packers make deal with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

Packers make deal with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

"Wilkerson's first choice all along was to play for the #Packers".

With Wilkerson now in the fold, the Packers have a formidable defensive line that also includes Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark. The New York Jets defense finished top 10 in most major categories, and Wilkerson's performance was a big reason for that. Mike Pettine, the Packers' new defensive coordinator, was Wilkerson's defensive coordinator with NY when he was drafted in the first round in 2011.

Green Bay hired Wilkerson's former DC Mike Pettine this offseason for the same job, so this pairing makes sense as Pettine knows what a motivated Wilkerson looks like. After all, he's on a 1-year prove-it deal.

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The Jets released Wilkerson on March 5, ending a seven-year run in NY that turned bitter last season.

They will need to address the cornerback position at some point, but Gutekunst is well aware. By then, the organization had decided Wilkerson's fate. By cutting him, the Jets saved $11 million.

NY signed Wilkerson, the team's first-round pick in the 2011 draft, to a five-year extension that included $53 million in guarantees after his Pro Bowl season in 2015, but it did not fare out as planned. He was the highest-paid player on the team in 2017, making $15 million in cash earnings.

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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 best season of Wilkerson's career came in 2015, the final year of his rookie contract. Privately, team officials questioned whether he still had a passion for the game.

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