Muhammad Wilkerson has outplayed his rookie deal, set to make about $2.2 million this season after leading the Jets in sacks with 10.5 last season.
"Hopefully, they do the right thing and pay the man," the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year said Friday, via The New York Post. "That's coming from me. That's somebody I want around. But it's just business. You have no control over it.
"He's due for a paycheck, though. Believe that, he's due for a paycheck."
Richardson is right.
Wilkerson has been fantastic for the Jets, helping to form one of the best three-man fronts in the league along with Richardson and Damon "Big Snacks" Harrison. As Chris Wesseling pointed out last year, Wilkerson has helped to fill the star void created by Darrelle Revis's departure from New York by becoming one of the best defensive ends in the NFL.
Wilkerson is signed with the Jets through 2015, and his salary will get a hefty pay hike to $6.9 million next season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.
It would be wise for the Jets to lock him up now. If Wilkerson has another season like last year, he will command even more money when it's time to negotiate.
In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes talk "Hard Knocks" before delving into a new batch of rookie whispers.