According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the New York Jets are expected to release veteran right tackle Damien woody, veteran defensive end/outside linebacker Jason Taylor, veteran noseguard/defensive end Kris Jenkins, and first-round bust Vernon Gholston.
However, it is expected that a couple of the players — most likely Woody and Jenkins — could be re-signed at a reduced rate.
Gholston was going to be Rex Ryan’s personal project when he became head coach, but even under Ryan’s tutelage Gholston could not become an effective player. Gholston was a workout warrior at the combine three years ago and was drafted to play outside linebacker before being moved to defensive end during the offseason before the 2010 season.
The move was a last-ditch effort to find a spot for Gholston, but was unsuccessful and Gholston’s career in New York is likely over. Another team could give him a shot since he is only 24 years old, but he just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to make it in the NFL and is unlikely to have a Mike Williams-esque comeback.
Woody, who could be re-signed, has been a top-3 right tackle according to Pro Football Focus. In 2008, he was their best-rated right tackle, then was second in 2009, and third in 2010.
Several injuries and age (33) was likely the motivating factor behind the move.
Taylor was used mainly as a pass-rush specialist in 2010 for Ryan’s Jets, but looked very slow and showed his age. Taylor would often get ridden past the pocket and out of the play entirely because tackles had no problem getting their hands on him. He finished with five sacks on the season, but that number is a bit deceiving. Three of those sacks came in the first five weeks, so he went the next 11 games with only two sacks.
Jenkins, also getting up in years and battling injuries, could be re-signed if he’s willing to return for very cheap. He also might have to accept a backup role to whomever Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum target in free agency.