With 1,312 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns in 2008, Jets running back Thomas Jones posted his best statistical season. Now it appears like the AFC rushing champion wants to be paid like, well, the AFC rushing champion.
Jones skipped the second straight day of new coach Rex Ryan‘s voluntary offseason conditioning program Tuesday, and the New York Daily News‘ Rich Cimini speculates that the running back’s absence has something to do with his contract:
“Jones is entering the third year of a four-year, $20 million contract, which he signed at the time of his trade from the Bears, but his base salary for the coming season is only $900,000. Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, approached the Jets about a renegotiation at last month’s scouting combine in Indianapolis, according to a league source.”
Making matters more complicated, Cimini writes, are two factors: 1) The contract of Jones’ backfield partner, Leon Washington, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and 2) Ryan apparently has a policy against renegotiating veteran contracts. Cimini references the situation of former Jets WR Laveranues Coles, who apparently was rebuffed by Ryan on a long-term extension before being released last month. Coles has since signed on with the Cincinnati Bengals.