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Good Riddance, Vernon Gholston

What did rookies Reshad Jones (S, MIA), Al Woods (DT, TB) and Jermelle Cudjo (DT, STL) achieve in 2010 that Vernon Gholston never could in his entire NFL tenure? All three recorded a sack in a NFL regular season game.

In their rookie, inaugural, "feeler" seasons - they've all given more production than Vern has in his three years as a Jet.

The Jets' former sixth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft has now been released, as John reported earlier. The year that RB Chris Johnson, RB Ray Rice, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Jamaal Charles all were available ... Gang Green elected to go with Big Vern.

In their defense, there was little to no pass-rushing talent outside of DE Chris Long (who was already taken) in that particular draft, but this would come to be a move that really blew up in Mike T. as well as Eric Mangini's face. Over $15M  has gone down the drain (according to NY Jets Cap) and is now in his pocket. While he did take a pay cut last season, he was still paid $4M in guaranteed money + base salary.

Gholston was a big-time player at Ohio State University, but the blend of "brute force and athleticism" he exhibited at the collegiate level never transferred over to the NFL. Scouts questioned his size and could not entertain the thought of a 260-pounder battling in the trenches against top-tier talent. 

It turns out that they were right. Here are his stats (per ESPN) ... where you can see a whole lot of nothing!

Defense Stats
2008 NYJ 15 13 5 8 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 NYJ 14 17 12 5 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 NYJ 16 12 7 5 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 45 42 24 18 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0

The Jets thought he could be the perfect 3-4 hybrid DE/OLB. Unfortunately, the confidence, swagger, power and explosiveness he exerted at Ohio State quickly diminished as soon as he joined the Jets. Were the accusations/rumors true, and did Big Vern achieve his previous gains with steroids? Or was he just a genetics freak? At the end of the day it doesn't matter, and the (lack of) results were what we'll remember him for.

Furthermore, his lack of on-field awareness and instincts had him running around looking "lost" more often than not. He was rarely in the same vicinity of the football, always away from the play. Gholston was seemingly invisible on the field. 

A lot of natural ability, but very little skill or awareness. That's how I will remember you, Vernon Gholston, as a bust. Your lack of effort here in NY really did not help matters. You were not a good teammate and were even called out for not practicing hard. I believe you became over-content when you signed a contract back in 2008, and in the end, took your money and ran. You certainly didn't earn it.

So I say, good riddance.

I'll conclude this post with something Gholston has failed to do in his professional career thus far, sack QB Chad Henne!