The Green Bay Packers are expected to sign Muhammad Wilkerson to a one-year "prove-it deal" worth up to $8 million when the new league year opens Wednesday afternoon, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero.
Wilkerson, who was released earlier this month by the New York Jets only two seasons into a monster second NFL contract, reunites with Mike Pettine, Gang Green's defensive coordinator during his first two seasons in the NFL.
We wrote last week why the Packers signing Wilkerson would make great sense, as he should benefit from the tutelage of a familiar face in Pettine in addition to getting plugged alongside Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels into what has the makings of an outstanding defensive front. If the Packers get the Wilkerson who combined for 28.5 sacks from 2013-15, their overpriced and underperforming EDGE stable becomes less of a concern.
If the Packers don't get a motivated Wilkerson, it'll be tough to argue this wasn't a risk worth taking by new GM Brian Gutekunst in an effort to improve the NFL's 21st-ranked 'D,' a unit that's been porous for far too long. Wilkerson is unlikely to deal with the level of distractions in Green Bay that he did in New York, and he'll join a strong locker room with established leaders in Aaron Rodgers, Daniels and Clay Matthews, among others.
As promised, Gutekunst has taken a more aggressive free-agent approach than his predecessor, Ted Thompson. The Packers struck a deal with former Pro Bowl TE Jimmy Graham Tuesday and were rumored to be in on prize WR1s, Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson, albeit not without also releasing franchise great Jordy Nelson.