At first glance the New York Jets decision to part company with 31-year-old Thomas Jones who is coming off of a career high rushing season, during which he gained 1,402 yards and scored 14 touchdowns seems a strange one. Especially so given that he played a major part in helping them to an impressive season capped with an appearance in the AFC Championship game. After gaining all those tough yards many would think he would automatically be given his bonus and retained. However things are different in the NFL and his reward for a season of supreme effort was the re-negotiation of his contract with the new offer with a substantial pay cut. Not surprisingly he has refused and will become a free agent latter this week.
The only reason the Jets have played hardball in the negotiations is due to their squad depth at Running Back, and following his impressive rookie season they obviously think Shonn Greene is ready to step into the breech as starter. Although mainly used as back up Greene managed a respectable average per carry and had two 100 yard plus games in the post season, scoring a touch down in each. He is undoubtedly a major talent but heaping this much responsibility on him so early could backfire.
I would not be surprised if Leon Washington finds himself back in favour once he recovers from his broken leg, as both Chauncey Washington and Danny Woodhead lack experience and Tony Richardson at 38 will not relish having 20+ carries a game which the Jets will need if they are to have any chance of winning.
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