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Report: DL Wilkerson to visit Packers on Wednesday

Field Level Media

Pro Bowl defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson will begin his free agency tour with a visit to the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.

Per the report, the 28-year-old also has other visits planned.

Wlikerson was released last week by the New York Jets in a cost-cutting move, just two years into a five-year, $86 million deal.

He collected eight sacks and 18 quarterback hits over the last two seasons after tallying 12 and 28, respectively, in 2015 en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. According to various reports, Wilkerson was punished by the team multiple times in 2017 -- including being held out of the Jets' final three games -- for repeated tardiness.

The team's first-round pick in 2011, Wilkerson finished his Jets career with 44.5 sacks, 103 quarterback hits, 28 passes defensed and 405 tackles in 105 games (101 starts) across seven seasons.

Green Bay's new defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, was Jets' defensive coordinator during Wilkerson's first two NFL seasons.

The Packers have historically been minimal spenders in free agency, but they've gotten excellent returns in the past from released veterans -- who do not affect the league's compensatory draft pick formula -- such as Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers. New general manager Brian Gutekunst has indicated he plans to be more aggressive acquiring outside talent than his predecessor, Ted Thompson.

Because he was released, Wilkerson can sign with a team, whereas players with expiring contracts can sign with new teams when the new league year begins on March 14.