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Report: Jets’ Wilkerson, Richardson miss meetings “all the time”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 8: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson #91, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 and linebacker Antwan Barnes #95 of the New York Jets sack quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bucs 18-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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Jets coach Todd Bowles referred to the benching of defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson on Sunday as a “coach’s decision.” But he declined to give the reason for his decision.

Apparently the reason is this: Wilkerson and Richardson treat mandatory team meetings as if they’re optional, and Bowles is sick of it.

That’s the word from NJ Advance Media, which reports that Richardson and Wilkerson are regularly late or miss team meetings. A source is quoted as saying it happens “all the time,” and that those two “definitely” show up late or not at all more often than other players on the team.

The New York Daily News reports that their tardiness was the reason the two players didn’t play in the first quarter on Sunday against the Dolphins.

Wilkerson was also benched for the first quarter of a game last year for showing up late to a team meeting, but that didn’t stop the Jets from giving him a five-year, $86 million contract this year. Richardson is in the fourth year of the rookie contract he signed as the Jets’ first-round pick in 2013, and the Jets have picked up his $8.1 million fifth-year option for 2017.

Perhaps one of the reasons the Jets are such a disappointing team this season is that players who don’t show up to work get rewarded with big contracts. It’s hard to get your team working hard when their highest-paid teammates are slacking.