The best player on the Jets wants to avoid a nasty offseason contract dispute like Darrelle Revis' contentious holdout in 2010. In fact, Muhammad Wilkerson said he wants to retire as a Jet.
The All-Pro defensive end told Metro New York on Saturday he hopes to sign a long-term deal with the Jets. Recent reports have said Wilkerson, who is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, wants a pay raise and could be a possible holdout candidate.
Wilkerson denied he is considering a preseason holdout or thoughts of any lengthy contract haggling. He even sounded optimistic a deal could be in place to keep him in green and white for the foreseeable future.
When asked if a deal will be done this offseason, he left little wiggle room for his intentions.
“It will be taken care of, definitely. But all that holdout and all that other talk that people were saying and everything - I never said anything like that. I'm not going to hold out,” Wilkerson told Metro New York. “It's not something I want; it's not something I'm thinking about. I'm going to show up like everybody else and do what I'm told.”
Wilkerson spoke Saturday at Blink Fitness in Parsippany, N.J. where he served as personal trainer and fielded questions. During the question and answer session, he also sounded support for rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who struggled last season as the team's starter.
As for his Jets future, sources tell Metro New York no significant contract talks have taken place between Wilkerson's representatives and the team. But it is certainly his desire to strike a deal with general manager John Idzik.
He had 64 tackles last season and led the Jets with 10 1/2 sacks. He was snubbed from the Pro Bowl despite his performance from the end position in the Jets' 3-4 alignment.
“Like I tell everybody, that's what I got an agent for. I feel I've got a damn good one. They're going to discuss with John and them and I think they're going to work something out,” Wilkerson said. “I have faith in them. At the end of the day, I want to be a Jet for life. I think I will be so I'm going to let everything take care of itself. Everything will fall into place; everything happens for a reason. I'm just sitting here waiting.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.