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Monday, February 28, 2011
The Jets prepare for roster cuts

By Rich Cimini

The NFL's labor situation is a mess right now, but that apparently won't stop the Jets from taking care of some business this week -- the unpleasant side of the business.

Speaking last Thursday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, GM Mike Tannenbaum told reporters, “There are some loose ends we want to get taken care of by the end of the league year (March 3)" -- and that means roster cuts.

Here are the names on the Jets' chopping block this week:

DE Vernon Gholston: Three years, no sacks. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract, which guaranteed $21 million, but the Jets finally have come to the realization it's time to unload one of the biggest mistakes in franchise history. This has to make Woody Johnson sick to his stomach.

OLB/DE Jason Taylor: The ex-Dolphin signed a two-year contract last offseason (he made $1.75 million in 2010), but he's 36 years old and coming off a so-so season. His deal with the Jets called for a $10 million roster bonus (yeah, right) due on the fifth day of the league year, but it's believed he didn't reach the playing-time and performance levels to trigger that bonus. Doesn't matter; he's gone. Look for Taylor to retire. He had a fantastic career.

RT Damien Woody: The organization already has decided to move second-year OL Vladimir Ducasse (second-round pick) to right tackle, Woody's position -- an ominous sign for the emotional leader of the Jets' terrific offensive line. Woody is due to make $3.35 million in '11, and he's recovering from surgery on his Achilles' tendon.

NT Kris Jenkins: Knee injuries limited him to seven games over the last two seasons. Aside from durability, money is a major issue: He's due to make $3.75 million in '11, plus a $1 million roster bonus due on the seventh day of the league year. Clearly, Jenkins will have to take a pay cut if he wants to stick around.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson: Tannenbaum has said he expects Tomlinson to be back in '11, but you know how that goes. Tomlinson is due to make $2.4 million in base salary. Chances are, he stays, but if the organization really believes Joe McKnight is ready for a role, it could impact Tomlinson's future.