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When Even The Easiest Incentives Fail

New York Jets defensive end Vernon Gholston, a college physical sensation and first round draft pick, had a contract bonus that set the bar extremely low:

Former first-round draft pick Vernon Gholston was cut by the New York Jets this week after three years of not living up to his potential.
How big a bust has Gholston been? Well, Adam Schefter reminded everyone today that Gholston had a clause built into his contract (before the 2010 season) that would award him a $9 million bonus if he simply recorded one sack. Or caused a fumble. Or a recovered a fumble. Or caught an interception.

In 45 NFL games, he did none of those things. Zero. They even moved him from linebacker to defensive end and tried to devise schemes specifically to help him out. Nothing.