Oct 29, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) reacts against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets enter the 2018 offseason with an abundance of salary cap space. According to a report, they’ll gain even more with the pending release of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.

In detailing some of New York’s potential cuts, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY made it clear that barring a drastic change, Wilkerson has played his final game with the Jets.

“The only question is whether they designate him a pre-June 1 cut (clearing $11 million cap space) or a post-June 1 cut ($17 million in savings),” Vacchiano stated. “His lack of production and bad attitude makes this an easier call than when they benched him for the final two games of the season for, among other things, his chronic lateness. They have to do it before the third day of the league year (March 16), otherwise his 2018 salary becomes guaranteed. But don’t worry. They will.”

The news is certainly not surprising. It goes along with what was being reported in the final weeks of the 2017 season.

Wilkerson was drafted by the Jets in 2011’s first round as the 30th overall selection. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and was second team All-Pro in 2013 and 2015.

Wilkerson has been a capable pass rusher through his career. He has 44.5 career sacks with 10 forced fumbles. In 2017, though, he recorded only 3.5 sacks, his lowest total since his rookie season when he recorded three sacks. He also failed to force a fumble for the first time in his career.

The bigger issue that Wilkerson will have to answer to his punctuality, or lack thereof. In December, ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that “Wilkerson has been disciplined at least four times in three years for being late to meetings.” That certainly contributed to him getting benched at the end of the season.

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This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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