Under new leadership in the front office the Green Bay Packers are approaching free agency with more aggression than ever before. Now they've made their second big acquisition, agreeing to a deal with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, according to Rob Demovsky.
"Wilkerson's first choice all along was to play for the #Packers".
Working out a contract with Wilkerson continued a busy day for the Packers, who also agreed to a deal with tight end Jimmy Graham and released wide receiver Jordy Nelson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Pettine served in the same capacity for the Jets from 2009 to 2012 and coached Wilkerson during his first two years in the league. The Jets went 10-6, and NY rewarded their defensive tackle with a five-year, $86 million dollar deal.
The Jets released Wilkerson on March 5, ending a seven-year run in NY that turned bitter last season. He can stop the run, rush the passer, and create interior pressure that wreaks havoc and opens opportunities for other players.
One can assume new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had a say in this signing.
For the Packers, this is another departure from their traditionally conservative approach to free agency.
They will need to address the cornerback position at some point, but Gutekunst is well aware.
NY signed Wilkerson, the team's first-round pick in the 2011 draft, to a five-year extension that included $53 million in guarantees after his Pro Bowl season in 2015, but it did not fare out as planned.