Green Bay Packers sign Mo Wilkerson: Free Agency Grade

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and cap manager Russ Ball delivered a big-time talent on defense at a price point everyone should be able to agree on. The deal, reportedly for three years, makes up for the loss of longtime wide receiver Jordy Nelson, whom it was announced Green Bay was releasing nearly immediately after the Graham news broke.

The Packers will soon find out if Muhammad Wilkerson is right for them.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky, a Cover 2 contributor, was first to report the news Tuesday night.

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, has a chance to rewrite the script under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who served in the same role with the Jets in Wilkerson's first two seasons.

One can assume new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had a say in this signing. The bigger positions of need are at cornerback and outside linebacker.

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. In 2016, he was rewarded with a five-year, $86 million contract that included $37 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Wilkerson, 28, was benched for the final three games of last season, ostensibly because he was late for a meeting on December 15; it marked the fourth time since 2015 he was disciplined for tardiness. 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 was the highest-paid player on the team in 2017, making $15 million in cash earnings. Privately, team officials questioned whether he still had a passion for the game.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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