Lockout Prompts Jet Moves

Just days before the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL players and the owners expires, teams are getting in their final blows.  The New York Jets led the way on Monday, releasing 4 players from their roster.

The Jets began the day by releasing offensive lineman Damien Woody.  Woody actually announced he was cut on his Twitter account, and thanked the New York fans for their support through the years.  Woody, 33, rehabbed from knee surgery until his season ended in December because of an Achilles heel injury.

Defensive Tackle Kris Jenkins was also released.  This was announced by his agent Tony Paige.  Jenkins, 31, never reached the potential expected when he was acquired in 2008.  Jenkins has missed most of the past two seasons with major knee injuries.

Jason Taylor, in his 14th season and was signed as a free agent before last season, was also cut.  Vernon Gholston, a former number 6 pick by the Jets, was also let go.  Gholston had an accelerator clause in his contract.   If he had made one sack or recovered one fumble, he would have accelerated his deal.  Gholston has been tried at outside linebacker and defensive end in the 3-4 defense and it is felt he is better suited for a 4-3 setup.

New York is taking care of some “loose ends” that General Manager Mike Tannebaum talked about last week.  And this is only the first set of moves for the club.  Tannenbaum has also talked about possible front office salary cuts should a lockout occur, and that includes head coach Rex Ryan and his staff.

These moves represented players that had salary cap or injury problems.  A total of ten million has been saved for the organization with these cuts.  When a new CBA is reached, these moves set up the Jets to resign both of their wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes.  Which appears to be the priority after labor peace is achieved.

As reported in the Star Ledger, non-contracted employees on the football team will be receiving furloughs. The plan would be for employees to recoup their missed earnings, if no games are missed, at the end of the 2011 season.  A team spokesman would not confirm the cuts but did say, “While we fully expect the 2011 season to proceed as planned, we do have contingency plans in place that touch everyone in the organization.”

Every team is different; however each team does have a plan in place if the lockout drags on into the summer.  Larry Kennan, the staff director of the NFL Coaches Association, said last week that 90 percent to 95 percent of coaches around the league have lockout clauses in their contracts that stipulate reduced salary — but teams can choose whether or not to exercise those clauses.

It’s hard to believe that an industry that brings in over 9 Billion in revenue each year has to have plans to survive a labor stoppage.  Not only coaches and General Managers, but other employees like the ticket office, secretaries, janitors and public relations.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Think about the businesses outside of the teams that will lose money should this destroy some of the season, if not all.

Alot is happening in the league, just not the kind of activity needed to stop the league from working.



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