OLB Jason Taylor, ORT Damien Woody, NT Kris Jenkins and DE Vernon Gholston have been released by the Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
All four players had extenuating circumstances. Taylor will be 37 when the 2011 season begins and has hinted at retirement. Woody, 33, missed the last three games of the regular season due to a knee injury and the final two playoff games after tearing his Achilles tendon in the wild-card win over the Colts. Jenkins will be 32 next season and has played in seven games total the past two years after suffering a pair of season-ending knee injuries. And Gholston has been a nonfactor ever since he was the sixth pick in the draft in 2008, registering no sacks in his three-year career.
Speaking with the media last Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said Gholston's late introduction to the sport may have been a cause for the slow start to his career.
"He loves football, he works hard at it. Maybe not having any experience earlier in his career playing much in high school to what he played in college. But we'll see where his career goes. He's really done everything we've asked off the field in terms of the workouts, watching extra tape, putting in time with coaches. Obviously he hasn't played to where he was picked, but with that said, he has only played three years so far."
The way we see it
All four players could return to the Jets next season, though all would likely have to take massive pay cuts to return. Woody was already at risk to lose his job to 2010 second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse before he was let go, while both Jenkins and Gholston weren't even on the two-deep depth chart by the end of last season. If Taylor chooses to continue playing, the Jets might be interested in having him back.