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Ax for Woody, Taylor, Jenkins, Gholston?

Jets linebacker Jason Taylor (above) is likely to

Jets linebacker Jason Taylor (above) is likely to be cut along with fellow veterans Kris Jenkins and Damien Woody first-round bust Vernon Gholston. (Jan. 6, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

Amid an uncertain landscape and just days before the NFL's collective-bargaining agreement expires, the Jets are beginning to restructure their roster and are starting to prepare to shave their football operations costs.

They plan to release Damien Woody and reportedly also are set to bid goodbye to Jason Taylor, Kris Jenkins and Vernon Gholston.

Woody, 33, was an anchor at right tackle, starting in all but four games during his three seasons with the Jets. He ruptured his left Achilles on the first play of the Jets' final drive during their AFC wild-card victory over the Colts. He had missed the final three games of the regular season after arthroscopic right knee surgery.

"Just informed about my release," Woody wrote on Twitter Monday night. "I want to thank the Jets and all the fans out there . . . it was a great ride!"

Gholston's career was a dud from the get-go; he never came close to producing at the level expected for someone selected with the sixth pick. He failed to record a single sack in his three seasons, combining for 42 tackles, and was inactive for all three playoff games during the Jets' postseason push in January.

Neither a defensive-minded Rex Ryan nor a position switch from linebacker to defensive end managed to spark Gholston to make plays.

Taylor, 36, inked a two-year, $13-million contract with the team he once loved to hate during his time with the Dolphins. But he had nearly $10 million allocated to him for 2011, a number the Jets surely weren't going to pay for a player whose tank essentially is on empty. He mustered five sacks and 36 combined tackles in his lone season with the Jets.

Jenkins is attempting to come back from yet another ACL tear. The massive 31-year-old nose tackle tore his left ACL six plays into the Jets' season opener against the Ravens, the second time he's suffered the injury in as many seasons.

He recently told Newsday he was aware of the speculation that he might be a salary-cap casualty, but he didn't seem overly worried about it.

"I'm an older guy; my [salary] cap number's higher," Jenkins said. "If they want me here, fine. If they don't, then fine. I'm loyal to the Jets right now. That's who I play for. But if that relationship ends, I'll deal with it as a man and keep moving. It's not the end of the world. I'll be OK."

There's always the possibility the Jets could bring them back at a reduced salary, although that seems unlikely in the cases of Taylor and Gholston.

Word of the Jets preparing to trim salaries of employees in football operations, which includes Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, falls in line with what executive vice president for business operations Matt Higgins said last week. The Jets plan to have their employees take a one-week furlough each month if the NFL and the Players Association don't reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by midnight Thursday.

If the two sides can't strike an agreement by then, approximately 96 employees on the business operations side will be required to take the weeklong unpaid leave of absence.

New York Sports