Despite being denied by head coach Rex Ryan, Thomas Jones’ days in green and white could soon be over.
According to the National Football Post, the Jets have recently called an NFC West team in order to shop last year’s league leader in rushing. While it was not specified which team the Jets contacted, it’s not that hard to figure it out.
Arizona has second year back Tim Hightower and a nationally known rookie in Chris “Beannie” Wells.
San Francisco has its stud running back Frank Gore, veteran Michael Robinson and rookie Glenn Coffee out of Alabama.
St. Louis? Maybe you’ve heard of their guy. Steven Jackson? Yeah, I think you have.
That leaves Seattle.
Granted, the Seahawks have their fair share of running backs in Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett and Justin Forsett. True, the coaching staff and front office have and continue to back their trio. Yes, nothing came from earlier rumors regarding a trade involving the Jets’ Jones and Seattle wide receiver Deion Branch.
However, three things have happened since those rumors swirled.
Seattle’s wide receiver position is hardly questionable anymore.
Nate Burleson has recovered from his major knee surgery and numerous reports thus far are that you couldn’t tell that he missed all but minutes of last season.
Rookie Deon Butler continues to impress. I truly believe that Butler could push Branch for playing time this year and could eventually force Branch out of Seattle…he’s just that good. I wrote about the battle between Branch and Butlerlast week when I went and watched the two at Seahawks training camp.
Backup running back Leon Washington wants to cash in in Gotham.
Washington is a very versatile player for the Jets. He’s an electric return man who is always a threat to take a kickoff or a punt to the house. He’s also an able pass blocker. I haven’t even gotten to the part where I mention him actually running with the ball out of the backfield.
Making only $530,000 this year, Washington begins his final year under his current contract.
Originally, Washington was an offseason holdout, but that eventually ended. The Jets and Washington’s representation have been in on-going contract talks and, as Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News reports, the team is offering $4.5 million.
Thomas Jones’ base salary for this year? Nine-hundred thousand.
What team in their right mind would pay their backup more than what their starting running back and last year’s league leader in rushing yards makes?
What team in their right mind would pay so much this season for a running back tandem that is not on the same level as individual rushers named Peterson, Turner, Tomlinson, Jackson or Jones-Drew?
The Jets drafted a ball carrier they feel is the running back of the future.
Just when you thought Leon Washington was going to be Thomas Jones’ eventual replacement as the starter in New York, the Jets go out and get a pair of fresh legs.
Former Iowa Hawkeye Shonn Greene was selected with the first pick in the third round after the Jets traded up with Detroit to nab him.
Thus far, the team has been very impressed with the rookie and head coach Rex Ryan told the Newark Star-Ledger that Greene will have a place in the team’s offense this year. It is no stretch of the imagination that Jones, who turns 31 this year and has two years left on his contract still, could be fazed out of the offense this season if he remains in New York.
Before all three of these situations unfolded, the rumor that the Seahawks could trade for Thomas Jones seemed intriguing, but only a pipedream. Now, there could be some legitimacy to them.