Jets GM Maccagnan: Muhammad Wilkerson to be considered for franchise tag

BY Cameron DaSilva • January 14, 2016

The New York Jets had a great deal of success in 2015, despite missing the playoffs. They went from a four-win team in 2014 to winning 10 games this season, largely thanks to a bevy of offseason acquisitions and new head coach Todd Bowles.

For as great as the Jets were in 2015, they have plenty of needs to address in the upcoming offseason -- most notably with regards to their own impending free agents. The biggest of the group is Pro Bowl defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.

Along with Darrelle Revis, Wilkerson is arguably the Jets' best defensive player and would be a huge loss if they're unable to retain him. General manager Mike Maccagnan hopes to keep Wilkerson in New York, even if it means using the franchise tag on him.

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison is also an impending free agent and could command big money on the open market. He was considered to be one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles in the league this season, making 72 tackles. 

It won't be easy for the Jets to keep both players, but Maccagnan said it's "not impossible" to do so.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who set a franchise record with 31 touchdowns passes this season, will also be a free agent. Aside from Wilkerson, re-signing Fitzpatrick could be the most important move the Jets make in the coming months. Of course, Maccagnan would also like to have Fitzpatrick back, but there's only so much money to go around.

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