Florham Park, N.J.– With a, almost inevitable, lockout looming the New York Jets have made some tactical financial decisions to prepare them for next season, whenever that may be.
Yesterday the Jets informed offensive tackle Damien Woody, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, linebacker Jason Taylor and the ever disappointing Vernon Gholston that their services would no longer be required with the Jets. None of this news should come as a shock to anybody as they were all cuts that were predicted to be made.
Immediately after the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship, Taylor had already begun to talk about the possibility of retirement and with a $ 10 Million roster bonus due if he was still on the roster by the fifth day of the, “league year,” it was apparent to all parties that this is where it would end for Taylor and the Jets.
The release of Gholston is without a doubt music to Jet fan’s ears, with the only downside being that many of those same fans will have to find a new player to constantly make fun of for their overwhelming lack of performance. After being selected with the sixth overall pick Gholston spent three years as a Jet, disappointing at every chance he got.
The degree of Gholston’s disappointment can be summed up best by his failure to hit a $9 million dollar escalator clause in his contract. If Gholston had simply recorded one sack or one forced fumble in his three years with the Jets, he would have earned that $9 million dollar bonus, instead he will just have to settle for the boatload of guaranteed money he earned by tricking the Jets into thinking he could contribute for them.
Jenkins and Woody both new these cuts were coming, both are older players with high salaries who are coming off of season-ending injuries, but the possibility of a return to the Jets is still very much possible for both of these players.
“I kind of had an inkling this could happen,” Woody said, according to ESPNNewYork.com. “I’m no fool. As you get older, you understand the business side. I understand my salary-cap situation, age and injury. I don’t have any complaints. My time here was priceless. I was part of something special.”
Woody announced his release himself on Twitter saying, “Just informed about my release…. I want to thank the Jets and all the fans out there… It was a great ride!” It didn’t take long for Woody to realize just how loved and appreciated his is by the Jets fan base as shortly after that first tweet he tweeted, “Damn… Jets fans are the best!!! The most passionate fans out there!”
According to ESPNNewyork.com Woody and the Jets did briefly talk about the possibility of resigning him after a new CBA is reached and after having some of his teammates wish him the best and hope for his return Woody tweeted in response to Dustin Keller, “We’ll see homie… You know I love it here.” So it seems both sides are keeping the door open for his return. If he doesn’t return the Jets will likely turn to Wayne Hunter or Valdimir Ducasse to take Woody’s starting spot, but of course Hunter isn’t under contract right now either.
After suffering the same injury two years in a row Jenkins knew he would cross this bridge, there was no way the Jets could keep him at that price tag. Jenkins told ESPNNewyork that his focus right now is on rehabbing his knee to see if he can play again before making any decisions. If he can play again he expects him and the Jets will talk again about him returning to the team.
With these cuts the Jets have shaved off more than $10 million off of their cap for the next season, whenever that may be, which will give the Jets more flexibility to re-sign Santonio Holmes and possibly either Antonio Cromartie and or Braylon Edwards or other free agents.
With so many free agents from last year’s team these cuts were made out of necessity as the Jets needed to make some significant cuts to the budget to put them in a stronger financial position to improve the team after a new CBA is finally reached, whenever that may be.
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