Jets release Wilkerson, Forte retires


The New York Jets released Mo Wilkerson, while Matt Forte announced his retirement.

New York informed defensive lineman Wilkerson of his release after eight seasons on Wednesday.

The move comes as no surprise and not just because it will save the Jets $12.5million in salary cap space after Wilkerson signed a five-year contract extension worth $86m in July 2016.

He was benched for the final three games in 2017 because, the Jets said he was late for a meeting on December 15, the fourth time since 2015 that he was disciplined for being late.

His contract guaranteed his $16.75m salary for 2018 if he were on the roster pm March 16, and the team were not willing to pay the price.

Wilkerson, 28, was selected by the Jets in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft out of Temple. He finishes his stint in New York with 404 combined tackles, 44 sacks and 10 forced fumbles over 105 games.

Meanwhile, 32-year-old running back Forte decided to retire from the NFL midweek.

The 10-year veteran made the announcement on Twitter, thanking members of the league and others for guiding him along the way.

"For the past 10 years, I've been blessed to play professionally a game that I've loved since I was 6 years old.  But, after much prayer and reflection, I've decided to retire from the NFL. Like so many others before me, this game has enhanced my life in numerous ways," Forte wrote. "Not only did I get to live out my childhood dream in playing for the Chicago Bears, but also it was here [in Chicago] where I fell in Love with my beautiful wife Danielle and started a family of my own. ... I'd like to thank the New York Jets organisation for the past two years. My experience as a Jet was truly first rate."

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Forte was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft. He spent eight years with the team and during that time, Forte ran for 8,602 total yards and scored 64 total touchdowns.

In 2016 he signed a three-year, $12m free-agent contract with the Jets. He played well in his first year, scoring eight total touchdowns and rushing for 813 yards.

However, his production dropped in 2017 as he battled a toe and knee injuries. He rushed for only 381 yards and scored three total touchdowns.

Also a prolific pass-catcher, Forte's total yards from scrimmage (14,468) are the most by any player over the past 10 seasons.

"It's time for the workhorse to finally rest in his stable," Forte said. "While my heart is a bit heavy as I close this chapter of my life, I am excited about what the future holds. God Bless and Bear Down!"