The New York Jets parted ways with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson on Wednesday and already at least one major media reporter is suggesting that the Pittsburgh Steelers might pursue the former first-round draft pick out of Temple.
“Trust me, his old defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, now with the Steelers, knows what he can do and he is a scheme for the Steelers (though Pittsburgh’s cap situation is tight and they have bigger needs),” wrote Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports Wednesday night.
While Karl Dunbar certainly knows all about Wilkerson after coaching him a few years in New York, the idea that the Steelers will try to sign him is absolute ludicrous. Currently, the Steelers have starting defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt both signed to lucrative long-term contract. If that’s not enough, fellow defensive end Tyson Alualu, who the Steelers signed last March as an unrestricted free agent, still has one year left on his contract and he played reasonably well in 2017.
While Wilkerson will likely land with a new team fairly quickly, I can promise you that it won’t be the Steelers. For La Canfora to even suggest he will shows just how far out of touch he is with Pittsburgh.
Wilkerson, who had a history of violating team rules while with the Jets, recorded just 46 total tackles and 3.5 sacks last season in the 13 games that he played in. He was scheduled to earn a base salary of $16.75 million in 2018.