The New York Jets recently finalized a new deal with Vernon Gholston, protecting themselves against some future incentive and bonus payments to the unproductive former first-round draft pick and allowing themselves to get out of the contract easily following the 2010 season, a source with knowledge of the situation said Monday.
This deal replaces years 2010 through 2012 of the contract. Gholston, who's moving from linebacker to defensive end, was set to make $1.9 million in base salary next season, but he now will receive $2.25 million in base (guaranteed), in addition to a $4 million signing bonus and a $250,000 workout bonus.
However, in 2011, even if the salary cap returns, the Jets could jettison Gholston without taking a significant hit. His 2011 base salary drops to $550,000, with a $250,000 workout bonus and a $2.5 million roster bonus due in March and incentives that could reach $9 million. If the Jets cut Gholston before the roster bonus date, they would owe him nothing, which would be a distinct possibility given his lack of production.
If Gholston remained a Jet in 2012, his base salary would be $650,000, with the chance to make up to $10 million in bonuses.
So with the Jets due to pay him $6.5 million in 2010, Gholston is all but certain to be with the team next season -- and just as likely to be gone afterward, barring a total reversal in play from what he has displayed thus far.