“We’d like to be really aggressive and see if we can be in every conversation. Now whether that leads to us ending up signing a bunch or not, we’ll see,” that’s what new Green Bay Packers GM, Brian Gutekunst had to say about acquiring free agents at the combine.
Under Ted Thompson, free agent signings were few and far between. However, when free agents were signed, they were smart moves, for the most part, *cough* Martellus Bennett.
Now with Gutenkunst, hopefully, the Packers will be more aggressive in the free agent search, especially on defense. If the Packers want to win another Super Bowl in the near future, they need to get help, there is no way around it.
It all starts with the Jets defensive end, Muhammad Wilkerson. It was announced late in February that the Jets would release him. This could not be better news for the Packers front office.
Wilkerson has been with the Jets since 2011. He was a first-round pick and he has been a very reliable player for them since. Wilkerson hasn’t missed a lot of time with injuries, either. He has never missed more than three games in a season. That’s good news, especially for the Packers who always seem to lose key starters to injury every year.
His 2015 season was his best, statistically. His 12 sacks, 64 total tackles, and three forced fumbles landed him in the Pro Bowl for the first, and only, time in his career. The numbers are clearly there with Wilkerson. He was a lone bright spot on otherwise mediocre Jets teams.
Pairing him with Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark would make the Packers defensive line one of the best in the league. Daniels continues to have dominant seasons in Green Bay and Kenny Clark just had the best year of his young career. The three players could be a huge asset to an otherwise below average defense.
If Wilkerson decides to join the Packers, he would be reunited with the new DC in Green Bay, Mike Pettine. In the early stages of his career, the DC for the Jets was Pettine. Coming to Green Bay would allow for a reunion for Pettine and Wilkerson.
Wilkerson also would not be that expensive to sign. In 2017, he signed a 1 year/$9 million deal. So signing him to a 2-3 year deal could be possible.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news with Wilkerson. He has had some issues of work ethic and not giving it his all on the field. However, if anyone would be able to turn that around it would be the coaching staff in Green Bay.
It makes a lot of sense for Wilkerson to come to Green Bay. He could have a career rejuvenation. He is not expensive to get, and he would fit well with the new Mike Pettine defense. It’s all up to GM Brian Gutekunst deciding to pursue him. Hopefully, he will.