Muhammad Wilkerson takes great offense to any suggestions he dogged it last season.
The New York Jets defensive end recorded a career-high 12 sacks in 2015 and was rewarded with a five-year, $85-million extension. In 2016, he produced just 4.5 sacks and was benched late in the year for missing a team walkthrough. His play led to whispers Wilkerson took his foot off the gas once he received the big-money contract.
“People feel that I was just money hungry and just took the money and now I’m lazy, but I can prove to people that it’s more than about money with me,” Wilkerson said Friday on ESPN NY radio, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.
Such talk has given Wilkerson extra motivation to prove the doubters wrong.
“I have a chip on my shoulder,” he said.
If the criticism ultimately helps Wilkerson regain his All-Pro and Pro Bowl form of 2015, the Jets will be better for it.
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