Is Muhammad Wilkerson a fit for the Oakland Raiders?

Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) reacts to the crowd in the second half of the Jets 38-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) reacts to the crowd in the second half of the Jets 38-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Oakland Raiders trade for New York Jets defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson?

CBS Sports insider Jason La Canfora urged the Oakland Raiders to trade for New York Jets defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson.

The Jets offered Wilkerson a franchise tender, which took him away from the open Free Agency market. La Canfora said that the two sides are far apart on a long-term contract, despite the Jets dispelling any rumors about trading Wlkerson.

Oakland could build on their offseason momentum by acquiring Wilkerson in a trade, La Canfora claims. The insider suggest it may take a couple of second rounders to get Wilkerson from the Jets. Wilkerson registered a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2015, which earned him his first Pro Bowl appearance. The five-year-pro ended his season with a broken leg in Week 16, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Here are some pros and cons to the Raiders possible addition of Wilkerson.


This sounds like a move Al Davis would have made in a second. In fact the first thing that comes to mind is the Raiders addition of Richard Seymour not too long ago, something La Canfora also mentions.

Why not add another versatile defensive linemen who can play head-up on an offensive tackle in a 3-4 scheme or outside of the guard?

A front-seven including Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Dan Williams, Mario Edwards Jr., Malcolm Smith, Wilkerson and possibly Aldon Smith – if the team decides to resign him – would put fear in opposing teams’ hearts. Any combination of that package brings versatility against the run or pass.

Plus, the dollars could make sense for the Raiders. Although they splurged in Free Agency, Oakland maintained flexibility by signing Sean Smith and Bruce Irvin to front-loaded contracts. The Raiders still possess more than $25 million in cap space for this season and the long-term flexibility to give Wilkerson a fat contract.

As for the Jets, they are already loaded at the position with Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams. New York also added Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jenkins as solid depth options on the defensive line. Therefore, not investing long-term dollars and trading Wilkerson for assets might make the most sense.

Finally, the Raiders finished 7-9 last season, but could have done better by closing games. Wilkerson could get them over the hump. The 26-year-old Wilkerson also brings more instant success than the Raiders draft pick at No. 14 or No. 44.

The Raiders are in win now mode as they compete for their first playoff berth since 2002, and a new stadium in Los Angeles, Oakland or anywhere else. Wilkerson helps those quests too.


You do not need to be a NFL insider to know Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie values his picks. McKenzie’s sense for the draft built this team. He brought those ways from his days within the Green Bay Packers organization.

The New England Patriots recently traded away a stud defensive linemen in Chandler Jones for a second round pick and starting offensive linemen. Jones entered the league a year after Wilkerson but only has half a sack less than Wilkerson in 20 less starts. Jones plays a slightly different position than Wilkerson and Jones suffered some off-field incidents, but Wilkerson’s trade value could be similar.

The Raiders do not have a lot of disposable starters to package with a draft pick like the Cardinals did for Jones. Unless the Jets want Marcel Reece, Mychael Rivera, DJ Hayden or TJ Carrie. Hence, McKenzie might not limit himself in the draft this year or next year by sacrificing two picks for Wilkerson.

Not to mention, this draft is filled with quality defensive linemen atop the draft. Sheldon Rankins, Robert Nkemdiche, Kenny Clark, Vernon Butler or Sheldon Day could immediately contribute for the Raiders via their first couple of draft selections. That seems like McKenzie’s preferred route.

Added, the Raiders are not in the business of shelling out big contracts because they have cap space. They did not overspend on free agents Malik Jackson, $42 mill. guaranteed from the Jacksonville Jaguars, or Olivier Vernon, $52 mill. guaranteed from the New York Giants, according to Wilkerson is better than both those players, so Oakland may not meet his high price tag.

McKenzie may want to keep that long-term cap space for when Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack demand big contracts. McKenzie may pass on leveraging the team’s future for Wilkerson.

What do you think?

Mo Wilkerson on the Raiders makes a lot of sense, however, acquiring the 2015 Pro Bowler will not be easy. It could help the team make waves in the 2016 playoffs, but is it worth the long-term commitment?

Personally, I always advocate for the Raiders adding an elite defensive tackle. A player who can eat blocks in the run game and rush the passer, like Wilkerson does, would change the entire tone of a defense that finished No. 22 last year.

Let us know if you think Wilkerson should wear Silver and Black in 2015 via the poll below.