New York Jets Salary Cap Page

What the Jets did with Vernon Gholstonís Contract

There has been some confusion the last few days over a reported restructuring of the Vernon Gholston contract. We broke the news here early last week that Gholston was fronted some money which would ease some playtime restrictions and allow him to actually see the field while being cut next season. Last night Rich Cimini and Adam Schefter of ESPN, broke a story that contradicted what we had previously reported and that Gholston gave up huge amounts of salary to remain on the team. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com finally got the full details of the restructure and what the Jets did is similar to what we originally reported here.

Prior to the restructure of the deal Gholston was owed guarantees of 5.9 million in base salary and another 3.6 million in a bonus that would be easily attained if the Jets gave him a legitimate chance to play football and prove his worth in games. Thatís a total of 9.5 million in guaranteed money. In addition if he hit that easy playtime he would have triggered contract escalators that would have increased future years salaries. These bonus payments made the Jets even more reluctant to give him a chance to prove his worth during games rather than during practice.

What the Jets were ale to do was get Gholston to agree to give up 3 million dollars in that guaranteed money which he can earn back by proving his worth. The Jets gave Gholston 4 million dollars up front, a guarantee of 2.25 million in base salary this year and a virtual guarantee of 250K in the form of a workout bonus. In turn Gholston gave up his huge bonuses that would be matched on easily reachable playing time. So the Jets will pay Gholston 6.5 million this year and now be afforded the chance to let him play in games and not worry about him playing too much to hurt the team financially,

The other 3 million was placed back into Gholstonís contract in the form of workout bonus money in 2011 and 2010 and a 2.5 million dollar roster bonus due in March of 2011. He can also make another 19 million in incentive based pay over the next two year, but none of it is guaranteed If the Jets feel he has not earned another penny they can cut him next March and be off the hook for much of the cash they would have owed him on the original contract.

The cap charge to cut Gholston looks to be 5.8 million next year. Not cheap, but its not an impossible number to deal with, especially since it will be less than his cap charge of 6.2 million. Originally it would have cost the Jets 7.14 million in dead money to cut him next year. There is also the possibility of another renegotiation next year to reduce that roster bonus and extend the term of the contract to lower cap charges, but most likely 2011 is the merciful end of the Vernon Gholston era.