Here's a real shocker: Jets running back Thomas Jones is dissatisfied with the four-year, $20 million contract he signed two years ago, when he was traded from the Bears, where he also complained about a contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent when nobody else wanted him.
Not only is Jones just an average-to-slightly above average running back, but he’ll be 31 before the 2009 season starts, and he’s logged almost 2,000 NFL carries, including 1,210 in the past four years. Last year the NFL average gain per running play was 4.2 yards. Jones has averaged 4.2 or better three times in his nine-year career. He’s averaged 4.0 yards per carry or less five times, including 3.6 in 2007, when he scored 1 touchdown on 310 carries.
Last season Jones rushed for 1,312 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry with 13 touchdowns, all of which are very good numbers. But he’s already collected $13.1 million in the first two seasons of his contract, so he’s been well compensated.
Still, Jones has been a no-show for all of the Jets’ optional workouts this off-season. You can’t blame the guy for trying to get all he can, but it’s extremely rare for any NFL running back to remain productive past the age of 30. The Jets know that. That’s why they drafted Iowa’s Shonn Green in the third round last month.
The Jets also have 26-year-old Leon Washington, who led the NFL last season with 2,337 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and returns). He’s also unhappy with his contract, which is in its final year.
Good luck Rex Ryan.