Could Thomas Jones land in San Diego?
Thomas Jones, who will be officially released by the Jets on Friday, is an intriguing free agent at the running back position.
And, if you are in need of a veteran back that can produce in a two-back system — plus score in the red zone — it would be wise to entertain the idea of making an offer to Jones.
Last week, the NFP’s Joe Fortenbaugh floated the idea of Jones ending up in Philly under Andy Reid. With Brian Westbrook now on the streets, it would make sense for the Eagles to look for a veteran back such as Jones to pair with Shady McCoy in the west coast system.
But, what about San Diego?
Jones would be a perfect fit for Norv Turner’s system out west. Despite the numbers that QB Philip Rivers puts up, this is an offense that is predicated on the downhill power running game to set up the vertical and play-action passing game. The Lead Strong, the Lead Open and the Power O (FB kick out, guard pull) are staples of the Chargers running game — downhill with a chance for the back to get to the second level.
It is as basic as it comes, but that is Turner when it comes to the running game, and once the Chargers cross the twenty-yard line, the head coach wants to see production out of his backs in the red zone.
LT is gone, Darren Sproles is going to test free agency and the Chargers may be starting fresh in the backfield. Could Jones fit in with a possible rookie from this April’s draft? A player like Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer, who could slip in the draft after his 40-yard dash time in Indy?
Of course, and despite his decline in production during the postseason, he is still a back that is accountable and will show up on Sundays — and in the locker room — where the decision to let Jones walk is not sitting well with the current Jets players.
I don’t see Jones having as much value as a back like Chester Taylor when it comes to the open market, but he is still a player that clubs need to look at.
And, if I am A.J. Smith of the Chargers, I start studying the film on what he can provide for Turner.
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For a look at other possible destinations for Jones, check out this article from Bleacher Report.