Last year, every franchise-tagged player who didn’t have a July 4 fireworks mishap got a long-term deal before July 15. This year, several tagged players who emerged from Independence Day without any missing appendages won’t be wrapping them around a pen for the purposes of signing a new contract by next Friday.
In addition to Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins (who won’t get a new deal) and Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery (who likely won’t), Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson apparently won’t be signing a long-term contract, either.
Via Dom Cosentino of NJ.com, the Jets and Wilkerson still haven’t engaged in talks aimed at turning his one-year, $15.7 million franchise tender into a long-term contract. If/when Broncos linebacker Von Miller signs a long-term deal, Wilkerson will become the last member of the 2011 first-round draft class to get a multi-year contract.
After July 15, Wilkerson won’t get a multi-year contract until 2017, at the earliest. The real question will be if, and when, Wilkerson will show up in 2016. Because he hasn’t accepted the tender, he can skip training camp and the preseason without financial consequence, showing up days before the regular-season opener and making the full amount of the franchise tender.