Frustrated Wilkerson: 'I don't feel like (Jets) want me'

The New York Jets have balked at paying Muhammad Wilkerson huge money for two seasons, despite the team's consistent public statements claiming a desire to get a deal done.

The second-team All-Pro defensive lineman is getting fed up with the all-talk, little-action routine.

"It's shocking. It's frustrating," Wilkerson told The New York Post's Brian Costello this week. "Because I feel like I've earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I'm dominating and it's showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do? You know what I mean?"

Wilkerson is sitting out mandatory minicamp. Since he hasn't signed the $15.7 million franchise tag, he's not subject to fines. Sides have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal. If no deal comes, the defensive end could elect to skip training camp -- or part of the regular season -- before signing the tender.

"Do I feel that they want me back? As of right now, no. I don't feel like they want me," Wilkerson said. "I'm a talented guy. Everybody knows that. I feel like they're going to get the best they can out of me and just let me go. That's how I feel. Do I like that feeling? No. I'm a New Jersey guy, born and raised and would love to raise my family here."

Wilkerson has generally kept to himself -- these are his first public comments since last season -- but it's easy to sense his mounting frustration.

That irritancy seems heightened after the Eagles signed Fletcher Cox to a six-year, nearly $103 million contract extension.

"I think he's a great player. Do I feel like I'm better than him? Yes," Wilkerson said. "Not to be cocky, it's just a confidence thing. Everybody in the league that plays feels like they're the best player at their position. If you ask any NFL player, they're going to say they're the best at their position.

"I feel like I'm better than him and whatever (his deal is) I deserve that or better."

Several barriers sit between the Jets handing Wilkerson the long-term contract he deserves. They are in rough salary cap shape, for one, and the presence of Leonard Williams provides a natural transition at the position when Wilkerson eventually walks.

It's easy to understand Wilkerson's frustration, but it doesn't appear likely to end anytime soon.

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