It's official. Well kinda.
The Jets have just announced the inevitable: they plan to waive leading rusher Thomas Jones Friday, an expected move after the veteran running back refused to restructure his contract. But the move won't happen until Friday when the NFL's new fiscal year starts.
Jones, who turns 32 in August, was looking at a total salary of $5.8 million in 2010, which includes a $3 million roster bonus due by March 9. But with Shonn Greene showing in the playoffs that he’s ready to be the featured back and Leon Washington expected to be back and ready for the season opener, the Jets wanted Jones to take a pay cut.
The two sides, however, couldn’t come to an agreement and the Jets will be on the lookout for another running back to replace Jones’ services.
“We have informed Thomas Jones and his representatives that we will release him on March 5,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement released by the team. “Thomas joined us three years ago and has been a productive,passionate leader both on and off the field who has served as a positive influence for our younger players. We were fortunate to acquire Thomas and wish him the best.”
Jones had a career year, running for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns -- both personal bests -- while spearheading the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack. He ran for 3,833 yards and 28 touchdowns on 931 carries, and caught 74 passes for 472 yards and three touchdowns in his three seasons with the Jets.
“When I got here Thomas immediately became one of my guys,” Rex Ryan said in a statement. “He had one of his best years last season – might have been his best. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player and a person. As I said the other day, this is one of the tough decisions we had to make for our organization.”