The MMQB's Peter King publishes a weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback" article every week, and it's normally filled with interesting tidbits and thoughts. In today's article, King suggested that the Indianapolis Colts should make a pretty huge trade.
I think the team that ought to go after Wilkerson is Indianapolis. No question. The Colts have a mediocre lot (Kendall Langford and Arthur Jones) with strong prospect Henry Anderson in their 3-4 defensive end scheme now. If I were GM Ryan Grigson, I'd offer the Jets my first-round and fourth-round picks this year (Nos. 18 and 116 overall) for Wilkerson. The Colts, with $19 million under the cap, have been saving cap room for the Andrew Luck contract. Wilkerson is the kind of special player for whom it's worth performing major salary-cap surgery.
Wilkerson is without a doubt one of the top defensive linemen in football. The Jets placed the franchise tag on him this year (worth $15.7 million) but could potentially trade him, as he wants a long-term contract. A team that traded for Wilkerson would not only need to pay a big price in order to get Wilkerson from the Jets, they also would need to pay Wilkerson a pretty huge deal once they acquired him (probably having a deal agreed to before the trade).
While Wilkerson is a very good player and would be an upgrade for the Colts, the question is whether that upgrade would be worth the price - and the answer to that is "no." Henry Anderson showed a ton of promise last year as a rookie before tearing his ACL, while Kendall Langford was a bright spot in a disappointing year for the Colts. Arthur Jones is a huge question mark after missing the bulk of the past two seasons, but the Colts seem to still be holding out hopes for him too. In other words, the defensive line is not near the top of the list of the Colts' needs this offseason, with Anderson, Langford, David Parry, and perhaps Arthur Jones providing nice talent in addition to depth guys like Zach Kerr. So while Wilkerson would be a notable upgrade and a great addition to the defensive line, the price they would have to pay to get (and keep) the defensive lineman makes the deal not worth it. The Colts have a number of needs they need to address this offseason more important than adding a defensive lineman - even a lineman like Muhammad Wilkerson.