This isn’t complicated . . .

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East Rutherford – Let’s get into a couple important Jets matters tonight . . .

Mo Wilkerson didn’t play today.


Likely financial reasons.

Wilkerson’s $16.75 million salary for 2018 isn’t guaranteed until early March, meaning the Jets can cut him before and not owe him that money. But the full 2018 salary is guaranteed for injury, so if Wilkerson suffers a serious malady, the Jets would have to pay him. I asked Bowles after the game if it was a business decision.

Q) Was it partially a business decision to make Wilkerson inactive?

Bowles: All a coach’s decision.

Q)Did finances have anything to do with the decision?

Bowles: Coach’s decision.

Somebody else asked Bowles if others were involved in the decision to deactivate Wilkerson?

Bowles: We talked, but eventually it’s my decision.

He’s taking the bullet here.

Early in the week, Bowles when asked about further discipline for Wilkerson said, “He served his sentence.”

So if he “served his sentence” why was he inactive today?

If you served your sentence, why further punishment?

Because I think Bowles was pushed into this move for business reasons.

I’m not saying it was the wrong decision for business reasons, I’m just saying to call it a “coach’s decision” is oversimplifying the situation.

But I think other people like Ira Axselrad, the Johnson brother’s money manager, and Mr. Coffee, were involved with this decision.

Wilkerson broke his leg in the last game of the 2015 season, so we have seen the player suffer a catastrophic injury late in the season.

Leonard Williams hurt his back today. If he can’t play in New England next week, from a football standpoint, would it make sense for Wilkerson to be inactive?

Obviously not, so next week we can confirm if this is strictly business.

I don’t think this is Todd’s decision.

He said Wilkerson “served his sentence.”

This is likely coming from above Todd.

Look in the photo above – that is Ira talking to Mike Maccagnan pregame.

You would have to think Ira was involved in a financial decision of this magnitude . . .

After the game, a reporter asked Bowles, “Do the Jets have enough talent on offense to win at this level?”

“I thought we had enough to win today,” Bowles said. “We just didn’t execute.”

How can you wonder if a team, that put up 38 points against Kansas City recently, a pretty good defense, has enough talent on offense to win?

In that game, Jermaine Kearse caught a career-high nine passes for a career-high 157 yards for 17.4 per catch. Robby Anderson caught a career-high eight passes for 107 yards for 13.4 per catch.

And last time I checked, both are still with the Jets.

Bryce Petty is a heck of a guy, and works his tail off, but he’s not an NFL starter. He’s giving it his best shot. Great human being, but you need to be accurate on this level. Maybe, like RG III, that Baylor offense really messes up your preparation for the next level. It was street-yard football under Art Briles.

So to me, I think it’s short-sighted to wonder if the Jets have enough talent to win on this level. The Jets best K.C. on December 3. That wasn’t too long ago.

I just think the reporter didn’t want to call out Petty, who is a great guy, so he made it about the whole offense.

December 24, 2017

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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