Jets' owner 'amazed' by length of Muhammad Wilkerson talks

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Muhammad Wilkerson and the New York Jets have been talking about a new contract since 2014. Surprised it's taking so long? Join the club. Woody Johnson is, too.

"It's amazing, since we've been negotiating with him for a few years now," the Jets' owner told a handful of reporters Monday at the NFL owners meetings at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Wilkerson's camp might take issue with the word "negotiating," considering there haven't been serious talks in quite some time. The Jets used the franchise tag on their Pro Bowl defensive end, meaning they have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal. If not, he'll play for his franchise tender in 2016 -- $15.7 million.

There's always a chance, albeit remote, of a trade. Johnson sounded like he's in favor of a long-term commitment, but he stopped short of spelling out the team's strategy.

"He's been franchised, so as far as I'm concerned, he's on the team right now," Johnson said. "He's on it. He's a great player. Love to have him. He had a great year last year -- 12 sacks. That little break he's recovering from, from what I've been told, he's recovering well from (his broken leg). So, yeah, if he's in, I'm not going to be disappointed at all.

"With any player, there has to be a moment where their side and our side are happy, and we feel like we're getting what we want in terms that are acceptable or semi-acceptable to us -- and the same for him. We just haven't been able to do that."

Asked if they've made Wilkerson a fair offer, Johnson said: "I'm not going to characterize the offer. If we made him a fair offer, he didn't accept it. 'Fair' is a subjective thing. It's got to be acceptable to him and us. When we work that out, it'll all be good."