FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Don't get rid of those Vernon Gholston jerseys just yet.
After an unflattering season in which he went sackless - again - and made only 14 tackles in 16 games, there was some thought that the Jets might sever ties with the sixth overall pick of the 2008 draft. That's because the Jets wouldn't take a large salary-cap hit in what is likely to be an uncapped year under the current collective-bargaining agreement.
But general manager Mike Tannenbaum said Thursday in his season-ending news conference that he expects Gholston to be back with the Jets for the 2010 season. He couldn't deny that Gholston had a second straight disappointing season, one that had to sting after Rex Ryan promised he'd be able to make Gholston a player.
"The production," Tannenbaum said, "it hasn't been there. He's going to get another offseason with these defensive coaches, and I agree with Rex. They are going to do everything they can to try to get it out of him, and I know it's important to Vernon. But he has to do it. He has to do it once the bullets are flying.''
Tannenbaum also touched on some other players whose situations bear watching.
He said he expects safety Kerry Rhodes to return but was noncommittal about running back Thomas Jones. Tannenbaum said he thinks Jones will be back but that there are "some economic issues" to be worked out with the 31-year-old, whose total salary of $5.8 million could be a bit much because he probably would be a backup for Shonn Greene.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard, due a $10-million roster bonus in March, likely is a goner.