Thomas Jones Afraid of Getting Cut by Jets in 2010
Jones told people close to him he wants a new contract from the Jets because he might get cut in 2010, the final year of the deal.
Jones' concerns also have to do with two running backs, Leon Washington, who emerged last year as a quality backup with 448 yards rushing and six touchdowns, and third-round pick Shonn Greene from Iowa.
If Washington gets a new deal, which is expected because he's in the last year of his rookie deal, and if Greene can perform well, Jones' future is in question. Jets officials believe Washington can do more in the offense than Jones and there is plenty of upside with Greene.
That's a major reason why Jones wants a new contract.
He's made $13.1 million in the first two years of a four-year contract he signed in 2007. A source inside the Jets organization said Jones wanted a bulk of his money in the first two years and they were more than happy to do it. Now the Jets don't feel like they should give Jones a new contract especially after he received most of it already.
If Jones plays this season, he's scheduled to make $900,000. In 2010, he will earn a total of $6 million.
But Jones wants to get paid more because of what he accomplished in 2008. He led the AFC with 1,312 rushing yards. Compare that to some of the top running backs across the league and he finished fifth overall. He was behind Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams and Clinton Portis.
The problem with giving Jones more money is that three rookie running backs -- Steve Slaton, Matt Forte and Chris Johnson -- also rushed for at least 1,200 yards last year. The Jets have said all the right things about Jones in public. But the NFL has always wanted younger, fresher legs at running back. Washington and Greene bring that to the Jets.
Coach Rex Ryan isn't too concerned without having Washington and Jones at the offseason workouts right now. But when the team has a mandatory minicamp in the near future, things better change.
"Yes, because that word mandatory, I think would mean, to me, I'm not the smartest guy, but I think you should be here if it's mandatory," Ryan said on Thursday. "Heck yeah, I would expect him to be here. I expect Thomas here as well."