The Jets placed the franchise tag on Wilkerson in 2016 to prevent him from hitting free agency, but his future with the team remained in doubt. The Jets went 10-6, and NY rewarded their defensive tackle with a five-year, $86 million dollar deal.
NY struggled through a miserable 2016 campaign, though, and Wilkerson's production dropped off steeply to just 58 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Wilkerson, 28, was benched for the final three games of last season, ostensibly because he was late for a meeting on December 15; it marked the fourth time since 2015 he was disciplined for tardiness.
That represented a huge fall from grace for Wilkerson.
Wilkerson peaked in 2015, when he recorded a career-high 12 sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl.
He also posted double-digit sacks in 2013 with 10.5, and he has 44.5 sacks in 105 career games despite largely playing in a 3-4 defensive front. He can stop the run, rush the passer, and create interior pressure that wreaks havoc and opens opportunities for other players.
Now Wilkerson will come back home to face the Jets when the Packers come to MetLife Stadium this season.
Wilkerson visited with the team last week, and spent time with other National Football League organizations after that before making his decision to sign with Green Bay.
Still, defensive line might be the deepest position on the Packers' defensive roster, with budding star Kenny Clark, Pro Bowler Mike Daniels and the improving Dean Lowry. Their leading pass rusher Clay Matthews is 31 years old, and the team is expected to look at linebackers in the upcoming NFL Draft.