There’s a chance that Sunday’s AFC Championship could be the last time we see running back Thomas Jones in a Jets uniform.
Granted, if Rex Ryan’s squad rolls into Indianapolis and knocks off the Colts, Jones and his teammates will be off to Miami to play in Super Bowl XLIV in two weeks.
However, if New York fails to take down Peyton Manning and the Colts at Lucas Oil Field on Sunday, Thomas Jones’ time as a Jet could be over.
But why would the Jets want to let go of a running back who is coming off a season in which he posted career-highs in rushing yards (1,402, third in NFL) and rushing touchdowns (14, tied for third in NFL)?
For starters, Jones is due a $3 million roster bonus on March 1. That’s a lot of money for a running back who will turn 32 years-old in August.
In addition, the emergence of rookie running back Shonn Greene (Iowa) makes Jones expendable. Greene has been a beast in the playoffs this season, rushing for 263 yards (first in postseason) and two touchdowns in two postseason games. Meanwhile, Jones has picked up just 75 yards on 29 carries (2.6 YPC) while scoring one touchdown over the last two weeks.
Oh yeah, Greene is averaging a monstrous 6.0 yards per carry this postseason.
And don’t forget, the Jets get back dual-threat running back Leon Washington next season. Washington was lost for the year when he broke his fibula the Jets’ Week 7 win at Oakland.
So what happens when you combine a big roster bonus with an aging veteran rusher and an already-deep backfield rushing attack?
A free agent.
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