New York Jets running back Leon Washington unhappy with contract, skips first day of OTAs by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger Monday May 11, 2009, 7:05 PM
The Jets now have two disgruntled running backs.
Pro Bowl kick returner Leon Washington, who doubles as a dynamic, game-breaking running back, skipped the start of Monday's organized team activities at Florham Park because he's unhappy with his contract, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. That person requested anonymity because he's not authorized to speak for the Jets or Washington.
Veteran running back Thomas Jones, who led the AFC in rushing with 1,312 yards and scored a career-high 13 rushing touchdowns last season, has boycotted the voluntary sessions all offseason.
The Jets have a mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 9-11, and it will be interesting to see if Washington and/or Jones attend. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has repeatedly said he expects Jones to attend.
Last month, the Jets drafted hard-charging rookie running back Shonn Greene as the heir apparent to Jones and feel he can step right in if Jones stages a bitter holdout. Both are physical, between-the-tackle runners.
But the Jets have no one on the roster to replace the electric, multi-dimensional Washington, who is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and in a variety of different ways. He can take it to the house as a kickoff and punt returner, running back and receiver.
mrblitz wrote:I don't think there is much to worry about. I see both in camp at some point. I actually think Leon will push TJ for the starting postion. And may just capture it at some point this season.
Unfortunately I think the drafting of Greene as high as they took him somewhat rules out the idea that they think Washington is going to be anything more than a change of pace back for them. I would highly doubt that Washington will be starting barring some serious injury issues for the Jets.
The term starter is so worthless for RBs now a days.
It will be either A Thomas Jones Show with performances by Leon Washington
A Shonn Greene Show with performances (a few more than above) by Leon Washington
Look at Dallas for instance...MB3 is the better pure back, puts up the better numbers but going into this season Felix Jones will be the "starter" because Marion the Barbarion is way more effective the less he is used in the first half and the more he is used in the 2nd half.
Thomas Jones is an idiot if he thinks he's getting a pay raise, he's 31 and already making too much money, they traded up for another back and Leon Washington is much more valuable and younger...What does he think he's going to accomplish by holding out and coming back for TC out of shape and losing a step.
The Jets are not that dumb to extend him, he is better off demanding a trade then lobbying for a deal...He already makes 5 million and has two years left, he doesn't deserve a raise...Congratulations for playing good last year, you were the starter and got paid like it, that's what you were paid to do, that doesn't entitle you to one more fat check before you retire.
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So, going off of LS2's post (warning- pure speculation follows!) teams that could definitely use TJones- Cle, Hou, Sea
teams that could perhaps be interested in TJones- NE, SD, NO
teams that could have an outside chance to be interested in TJones- Bal (McClain to FB, McGahee on the way out?, Rice injured his first year), Ten (LenWhale is who he is, CJ24 is a flash), GB (Grant injured/proven?, poor depth)
I agree completely, Biju- Jones is gone, either traded or released. Leon Washington is Darren Sproles- an electric player you get the ball in a number of ways but necessarily limit his touches. He's a third-down and put-return guy, with the occasional change of pace role.
The guy is only making like $1 million this year, they already paid him a lot of money the last two years, and he has multiple years left on his contract. Thomas Jones has absolutely zero say in his future with the team. HE can even sit out and New York isn't hurt too badly because they have Green now. Personally, I think Jones would be doing them a favor if he sat out, that way the team can get someone out there who can actually make the defense put together a gameplan.
Washington is an entirely different story. Unless they plan on franchising him continually for the next several seasons, they are best served getting his contract done asap while his value is still down. Guy was a 1st team ALL PRO last season as a returner, but thankfully he had extremely limited touches as a backup RB and they probably only need to give him low starting RB money to keep him around long term.