Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson Says He’s Earned His Huge Contract

By the end of this season, the Jets will have paid defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson $37 million over the past two years.

In return, they’ve received a chronically late under-performer who has repeatedly violated and disrespected the immense trust placed in him by the franchise.

Speaking for the first time since he was benched and left home for the Jets’ loss to the Saints in New Orleans this past weekend, Wilkerson refuted the notion that he failed to live up to the contract he signed before 2016, Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News reports.

“I feel like I’ve earned everything I’ve gotten,” said Wilkerson, who practiced fully Wednesday.

When asked if he feels like Jets fans should still trust him, Wilkerson said, “Next question.” The 28-year-old gave the same response when asked if he thinks he let the organization down.

Despite his transgressions, Wilkerson believes he’s a still a “leader” in the Jets locker room.

“I feel like I’m a leader because of the things I’ve done, you know, helping, you know, build this organization,” said Wilkerson, who the Jets drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft.

Wilkerson said he is “happy” being a part of the Jets, but “that’s up to the coaches and that’s up to the organization if I’m going to be here or not” after this season.

“I let the team down,” Wilkerson added. “I respect what coach did.”

Todd Bowles said he has not yet determined if Wilkerson will play Sunday when the Chargers come to East Rutherford.

“We’ll decide that at the end of the week like everybody else,” Bowles said.


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