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Sheldon Richardson: Muhammad Wilkerson is 'due for a paycheck'

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

At least one teammate thinks Muhammad Wilkerson should get paid. (USATSI)
At least one teammate thinks Muhammad Wilkerson should get paid. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: League minicamp dates | Latest news, notes

Without any suspense or surprise, the Jets picked up the fifth-year option for defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in April, meaning he will make $6.96 million for the 2015 season.

But clearly, Wilkerson, one of the best young defensive lineman in the game who still somehow hasn't made a Pro Bowl team, is looking for more money -- in the form of a long-term extension that will pay him tens of millions of dollars.

And if you ask his defensive line mate, Sheldon Richardson, Wilkerson will be worth every penny.

“Hopefully, they do the right thing and pay the man,” Richardson said, via the NY Post. “That's coming from me. That's somebody I want around. But it's just business. You have no control over it. He's due for a paycheck, though. Believe that, he's due for a paycheck.”

Well, yeah. Wilkerson is coming off a 10.5-sack season, the best of his three-year career, but that doesn't mean he's going to cash in on the huge money quite yet. The Jets could pay him the nearly $7 million for 2015, and then, if they wanted, they could franchise tag him for the 2016 season (the 2014 salary for a frachise-tagged defensive end is $13.1 million).

Until he gets a deal, it sounds like Wilkerson is just content to wait.

"I would like a deal, but when it happens, it happens," Wilkerson said in May. "I'm not saying I want it to be before the regular season. When it happens, it happens. I'm going to come in and work hard and take every day like I always do."

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