The Jets on Wednesday released Muhammad Wilkerson, their chronically late, underperforming defensive end.

Wilkerson's release brings to an end a disappointing, two-season run, after he received a lucrative contract in the summer of 2016.

Wilkerson never lived up to that contract, on the field or off. He had 4.5 sacks in 2016 and 3.5 in 2017, after having 12 in 2015, when he made his lone Pro Bowl appearance.

Wilkerson apparently didn't want his $16.75 million salary for 2018. That money was set to become fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year, on March 16. By cutting him before then, the Jets owe Wilkerson none of that money.

In three straight seasons, 2015-17, Wilkerson was suspended one quarter of a game due to tardiness. Also in 2017, he was benched for the Jets' trip to New Orleans, for the same reason.

After the New Orleans trip, the Jets made Wilkerson a healthy scratch for their final two games -- a clear sign they were finished with him. After all, his 2018 salary was guaranteed only against injury, and the Jets didn't want to run the risk of injury by playing him.

Wilkerson, 28, had clearly checked out, so it made sense for the Jets to cut him. A young, rebuilding locker room did not need his negative presence any longer.