We’ve mentioned before that New York Jets linebacker Vernon Gholston is one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, but now things are just getting better and better for Ohio State’s version of Mike Mamula.
Gholston was supposed to arrive in the NFL and have the same type of impact as San Diego’s Shawne Merriman, but hasn’t exactly lived up to that billing. Today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Jets have grown completely disenchanted with Gholston and that if 2010 ends up being an uncapped year (as many assume it will be) the team may end up releasing him and unloading his hefty salary.
Earlier this season starting linebacker Calvin Pace was suspended, leading many to believe that Gholston would finally break out and have an impact. That didn’t happen.
After becoming the No. 6 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Gholston has done absolutely nothing in the NFL. In two years and a total of 29 games, he’s racked up just 30 total tackles (17 solo), with no sacks, no forced fumbles and no plays of any significance whatsoever. Did I mention that he signed a five-year deal with more than $21 million in guaranteed money shortly after the draft? Even if Gholston doesn’t reach performance incentives that could escalate the deal to the maximum $50 million he negotiated, his contract could still end up worth as much as $32.5 million.
So basically the Jets invested in a 6’3, 264-pound workout wonder who has never actually translated that ability to an NFL playing surface. Who did the Jets pass up to snag Gholston? Well, Ryan Clady, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Johnson and Mike Jenkins have all made the Pro Bowl since their time in the league. And Sedrick Ellis, Keith Rivers and Jerod Mayo have also had an impact.
Despite all the great moves the Jets have made over the past few years to regain respectability, the drafting of Vernon Gholston could arguably be the biggest mistake in franchise history.