Packers to get first visit from free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

  • Packers to get first visit from free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

Packers to get first visit from free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports free agent DE Muhammad Wilkerson's first visit is expected to be with the Packers.

Wilkerson, 28, spent the last eight seasons with the Jets and compiled 44.5 sacks, but he was suspended for the Saints game this season for being late to a team meeting and had been benched each of the last three seasons for lateness. "I still think he's got a lot of football ahead of him". New general manager Brian Gutekunst has indicated he plans to be more aggressive acquiring outside talent than his predecessor, Ted Thompson. Like I said, there's limitations there. "But I think we'd like to look at every option we can".

In 2016-17, Wilkerson registered 58 total tackles and 4.5 sacks, and this past season, he finished with 46 total tackles and a mere 3.5 sacks. Rodgers is one of if not the most unsafe quarterback in the league when he's on, so Wilkerson signing with the Packers would be a testament to the organization and Rodgers skill if they get him discounted.

The Packers have historically been minimal spenders in free agency, but they've gotten excellent returns in the past from released veterans - who do not affect the league's compensatory draft pick formula - such as Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers. That list includes safety Morgan Burnett, guard Jarhi Evans, tight end Richard Rodgers, and special teams ace Jeff Janis.

Gutekunst indicated that if the Packers are going to alter those players' contracts, he would want to do it before the free-agent negotiating window opens on Monday. "With the salary cap and the way things are set up, acquiring experience and staying under the cap can be a hard challenge at times".

Jason Wilde covers the Packers for ESPN Wisconsin.