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Inside The Numbers: Jets Contracts

By Tyson Rauch

The New York Jets have done an excellent job of acquiring talent the last couple of years.  Now the challenge will be to keep the core group of players around for years to come.  Recently Jason Fitzgerald from NYJETSCAP.com, one of the most informative Jets-related sites on the internet, took the time to share some insight on the contractual status of several players from Gang Green.

Tyson Rauch- New York Jets Examiner: Jason there have been some reports that the New York Jets have re-worked Vernon Gholston’s contract. Can you shed any insight on Vernon’s contract?

Jason Fitzgerald- NYJETSCAP.com: Gholston had three years remaining on his contract with $5.9 million dollars in guaranteed salary. In addition if he participated in a certain percentage of the defensive snaps he earned a guaranteed bonus of about $3.6 million plus a number of pay raises in the last two years of his deal.  That playtime based incentive, which is commonplace in all first round rookie contracts, was really limiting what the Jets could do with him. Had the Jets decided to cut Gholston after this season he would have counted for over $7 million in dead cap space, and potentially as high as $10.5 million had he seen significant playtime in 2010.

What the Jets did in the renegotiation was front Gholston a significant sum of money in the form of a $4 million dollar signing bonus and 500K pay raise for 2010. In return Vernon gave up the guaranteed playtime bonus, which allows the Jets to actually give him a chance to play without the financial commitment. The dead cap charge of releasing him would now be under $6 million dollars in 2011.

The Jets also added incentives to get him to play well if he wants to earn more money. Gholston has a $2.5 million dollar roster bonus due of the first day of the league year in 2011 and that figure can grow based on playtime and on field performance. He has a similar bonus in 2012. If Gholston continues his invisible man act on the field he will never see a penny from the Jets in 2011 and he will be cut the day before the bonus is due, similar to why the team released Thomas Jones and Lito Sheppard this
year.

TR: The Jets have made headlines will the releasing of Thomas Jones, Alan Faneca, Kerry Rhodes and Leon Washington. Did Gang Green save any money with these moves and if so how much?

JF: The Jets saved a large amount of cash with these moves. Thomas Jones was scheduled to earn $5.9 million in 2010, Kerry Rhodes would have earned slightly over $5 million, and Alan Faneca a whopping $7.75 million. The Jets still owe Faneca about $5.3 million, but that is still a large savings. The total savings on the three players is well over $13 million dollars. The players brought in to replace them- LaDainian Tomlinson, Brodney Pool, and Vladimir Ducasse- will be paid around $5.5 million this year, so the net savings is in the 8 million dollar range.

TR: In Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold the Jets have two All-Pro Players. What is their contract status with Gang Green?

JF: This is the final year that Mangold is under contract with the Jets. The Jets may be waiting until they see what the leagues plans are with a new CBA before re-signing him.

Revis will void his contract after this season, but the Jets have the right to buyback the final two years of the contract, so he is, in essence, under contract until 2012.

TR: Recently 49ers star Patrick Willis signed a 5-year/ 50 million dollar deal. What is David Harris’ contract situation and how do you think the Willis deal will impact his demands?

JF: Harris is also in the final year of his rookie contract and will have his free agency status determined in the next CBA. I don’t think the Willis or DeMeco Ryans extensions really impact Harris too much. Those two players have been elected to Pro Bowls and have a better statistical track record than Harris. Neither player got much more than Bart Scott so they did not raise the market at all despite being superior players. I think the only real impact that those two extensions would have on Harris would be if the Jets decided to just tender him a one year deal either as a restricted free agent or as a franchise player. The fact that the Jets would not offer an extension when the other teams did for their young stars might lead to a holdout. That is kind of what happened with Leon Washington these last two years.

TR: D’Brickashaw Ferguson is emerging into a Pro-Bowl left tackle. How many years does Ferguson have left on his deal?

JF: Ferguson is under contract thru the 2011 season. I believe he will get a contract extension after this season.

TR: There are some reports circulating that quarterback Mark Sanchez hit some playing incentives in his rookie year. Can you share any insight on Mark’s deal?

JF: Sanchez hit the lottery based on his playing time last year. Sanchez triggered escalators that will pay him $6.4 million in 2010, $13.5 million in 2011, and $8.5 million in 2012. In addition he earned playoff bonuses last year close to $1 million and also has a few million in roster bonuses towards the end of his contract.

TR: Jason, once again thank you for your time.  Your site, NYJETSCAP.com, is one the most informative Jets related sites on internet and is a must view for all fans of Gang Green.

Here is the discussion thread in the Jets Nation fan forum.

This Article Was Written By Phil Sullivan

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I started JetNation in 2005 and have been a New York Jets season ticket holder since graduating from high school. My dream is to see the New York Jets win the Super Bowl. Until then, I will be right here on JetNation writing, dreaming and talking NY Jets football.