Vernon Gholston doesn’t trigger the easiest contract escalator ever

Teams often include “likely to be earned” incentives or likely to achieve escalators into a player’s contract.

Some of these benchmarks are almost impossible to miss.  The player basically just has to show up, and the money should be his.

When deposed Jets defensive end Vernon Gholston restructured his contract last offseason, his agent included a $9 million escalator in the deal.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gholston just had to record one sack or forced fumble or fumble recovery to reach the escalator.  So if Gholston had one lucky bounce of the ball go his way, his salary in 2011 would have ballooned $9 million, forcing the Jets to cut him.

Gholston wound up achieving his status as an unrestricted free agent the old fashioned way.   Guys that don’t record a sack or forced fumble in three seasons don’t tend to stick around.

35 responses to “Vernon Gholston doesn’t trigger the easiest contract escalator ever

  1. “Gholston wound up achieving his status as an unrestricted free agent the old fashioned way. Guys that don’t record a sack or forced fumble in three seasons don’t tend to stick around.”

    Great line Gregg —- the “old fashioned way.” Love it!

  2. He needs to go back to playing regular end in a 4-3. Someone will take a chance on him, nurse him back into being less crap, and he could be a role player.

    See him going to Detroit, Philly, Bengals, Titans, Texans, Panthers, or even the Pats.

    He could be a very cheap option to test out, and could lead to great payoff. Just needs to go back to one on one edge rushing with his hand in the ground and he’ll maybe get a sack/fumble.

    Just maybe though. And when he does, he’ll be able to scoop up the ball, out run everyone to the endzone, and dunk it with ease. The combine workout could finally pay off

  3. One of the worst 1st round picks of all time. How did this guy go 6th overall? Isn’t missing on a player this high supposed to set a franshice back for years btw?? Maybe it has, I guess if Gholston had been good maybe Sexy Rexy and the Jets might have a ring or two.

  4. Sad as it is, the Browns need a 4-3 DE so bad that he might be worth taking a chance on to allow us to look elsewhere (DT, WR, RT) in the draft. I’ll give him an incentive laden 3-4 year deal.

  5. well when you take a player like him, and play him out of position, its hard to make a difference.

    VG is undoubtedly a 4-3 specific DE. This guys not some monster DE that you want playin two gaps over a T in the 3-4.. He’s not a LB in 3-4 either. I dont care who it is, you just cant play out of position in the NFL and make a difference,, too many other players have been working all their lives to perfect their positions.

    I blame this guys failures on coaching and scheme. I blame the high expectations on one hell of performance at the combine. Thats what lead coaches to believe he could play anywhere in the front 7. . He will get to a 4-3 team and get back on track.

  6. SIXTH overall pick in the NFL Draft

    $21 Million guaranteed

    ZERO NFL sacks in three seasons

    Herein lies the reason the NFL needs a rookie wage scale

    Beware of the ‘tweeners’ that you’re not sure is a DE in a 4-3 or an OLB in a 3-4 defense.

  7. gholston = epic fail

    workout warriors who shoot up the draft board but can’t play should no longer be decribed as mamulas, they are now gholstons.

    next batter on deck: aaron maybin. but at least he went 11th, not 6th.

  8. He’ll get one more shot – some team will give him a look. My gut tells me this kid’s heart is not into football and he’ll piss it away.

    But, he will be a rich bust, unless he pissed that away too.


    RE: gridassassin says: Mar 1, 2011 10:03 AM
    Herein lies the reason the NFL needs a rookie wage scale

  10. The Jets show thier smarts and the not so smarts.

    The fact that the Jets had the brilliance to put in a 9 MIL insentive that he couldn’t reach and save them some big bucks.

    The fact that you would draft a guy 6th and have that stipulation leaves me scratching my head.

    Maybe thats why he hasn’t seen the field much last season.

  11. I’m pretty sure JaMarcus Russell at least accounted for 1 touchdown at some point. This cat defines “bust”.

  12. any team who brings him in for a small contract has nothing to lose. he obviously has some talent to be taken 6th overall. talent which is probably better than many backup de’s in the league. so why not take a shot at him. one or two year contract, if he’s not worth it cut him.

  13. Vern Ghost-on the field made 21 million dollars for as much production on the field as you and I. He’s just not an NFL player.

  14. Not only change of scenery – but change of defensive scheme. That seems to be the problem with the 3-4 scheme – findinf players that can transition – did not work with Kamerion Wimbley – he had an all-pro season with Oakland back to his college scheme.

    Cleveland would be a nice fit for Gholston for sure – 4-3 end was a beast at OSU. Still Cleveland would need to draft another end like Bowers and Quinn – preferably Quinn

  15. Biggest mistake anyone made was projecting him as an outside LB in the 3-4.

    Similar to Jarvis Moss, Derrick Harvey, and many others from the past few drafts as teams try to convert to that system but have clueless personnel departments on how to find the fits.

    Maybe he can be the next Aundray Bruce who left Atlanta a colossal bust but had some productive years with the Raiders.

  16. gridassassin ,

    When you balance that out with the bargains NFL owners are getting with guys like Desean Jackson and Chris Johnson just because they weren’t top 10 draft picks, I wouldn’t be taking up their cause.

  17. Sometimes getting drafted so high can be a curse to some athletes who are not ready for the pressure to be Superman. Maybe that’s the case here. Some pass rushers flourish best as second bannanas. Like Mathis is Indy. They dominate when a more dominant player is opposite them. So with that premise in mind, Gholston may actually turn out okay in the right system. Such as Atlanta opposite, Abraham; Chicago opposite Peppers, Denver opposite Dumervil, Oakland next to Seymour. Any of those options would either unleash this guys full potential or fully expose him as a combine wonder. He is young enough that I would go after him if I was GM of any of those teams. But you never quite know what is in a young guys heart. Especially if you load him up with too much money too early in life.

  18. Dude has Mike Mamula syndrome. One very good year (not great) at Ohio State and a workout warrior. I just hope the Jet’s fired the scout who talked this guy up.

  19. Duke of the Dawg Pound:

    Funny line! Does that mean Braylon Edwards and Brodney Pool cashed in their retirement in order to be called up to the big leagues?

  20. So why don’t the Jets get alot of crap for this? If it were the Raiders drafting this workout warrior, you guys would chew them up. Oh wait you guys already do. Hate on.

  21. You can knock him all you’d like, but he still has a lot more money by the age of 25 then most of us will ever see in our lives…just sayin’.

    I do agree on the rookie wage scale. That is one (if not the only) thing the NBA has right.

  22. so out of character for Rex to hype something up and not back it up. below are different quotes over 2 years.


    During his introductory press conference Wednesday, new Jets head coach Rex Ryan compared rookie linebacker Vernon Gholston to Ravens Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs, suggesting that Suggs had been considered a bust early in his career before the Power of Ryan saved him from himself.


    That’s going to be something that we look forward to,” coach Rex Ryan said after the draft Saturday. “So, that’s why I never felt that it was a need to jump up and take a defensive end [in the draft] when our plan all along was to put Vernon in a position where he can be successful. I think we did that.”

    “I don’t want to say anything, because last year I kept saying, ‘You guys, just wait, he’s going to prove it to you,’ ” Ryan said Thursday. “So I’m not going to say anything about Vernon.
    “But,” he added, “he’s really doing good.”

  23. The problem isn’t that he’s in the wrong system. There was no reason this guy couldn’t make at the very least a “good” OLB in a 3-4. Eric Walden gets 3 sacks in a game for GB, and this guy can’t get 1 in 3 years?! Rubbish, it’s not the system.

    The problem is that he is not a violent person, and he plays the one position on every NFL defense that requires violent people. He’s the polar opposite of James Harrison. The anti-Clay Matthews. He just has no killer instinct, he takes no pleasure in hitting, he has no edge, no fire. He’s so athletic but there’s nothing driving him to get home to the QB, or stuff a run behind the line, or strip the ball away. He didn’t get passed over on the depth chart by nobodies because they could make better reads in the system than he could. It’s because they’re able to summon the will to thrash an offensive lineman at all costs and get to the QB or RB, and he can’t.

    I’m sure he’s a nice guy and that will serve him well in life, but he’s simply not cut out for pro football.

  24. This guy reminds me of Brent Fullwood. The guy broke all of Bo Jackson’s records at Auburn and was the 5th pick in the draft. As soon as he got his signing bonus and first NFL paycheck, it was over.

    Some of these guys simply lose every ounce of motivation to be the best, once they get their Bentley, their crib, and their bling. A rookie wage scale is needed big time, and these guys need to prove themselves.

  25. I’m curious: it was a “likely to be earned incentive” which means it was included in the salary cap number, most likely for the first year of his contract. If LTBE incentives aren’t earned, then a team is credited with that number the following year in the cap. IF there is a cap with the new CBA, do the Jets get the credit for it? 9 mil is a huge number in regards to the cap. It’s a pretty big deal.

  26. Come to Buffalo, Dave Wannstedt can improve your career. We can always use players from division rivals. That is how the Patriots clean up the AFC east every year.

  27. vernon gholstones are bad for my bile duct , gallbladder and my liver , they make me sick and make my tummy hurt gotta watch out for those wanna be.

  28. I truely believe that if the jets had been able to get anything, just a little bit out of gholston as a pass rusher in the last two seasons they would have made the superbowl in one of them. Anyone who knows the jets knows the weak point on their defense is there lack of a pass rush without bringing the blitz. If Gholston could have done ANYTHING like get big a sack or fumble against Manning last year or Roethilisberger this year it could have been different. Instead he did absoultly nothing but watch from the bench. If he was what he was supposed to be the jets d would have been great this year. With that said i am SO happy that he will be gone. Even if he produces for another team i dont care. As long as hes off the team im happy, anyone they get in there can be more productive than him. He def will go down as one of the jets worst draft picks ever if not the worst.

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