Jets and Thomas Jones Will Divorce on Friday

1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns aren't worth what they used to be

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010  |  Updated 8:50 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
The Jets 2009 Season in Pictures

Getty Images

Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

If movies have taught us anything, it's that it is best to fire people on a Friday because, statistically, there's a much lower chance of an incident when you pull the trigger on that day.

The Jets probably weren't worried that Thomas Jones would start a scene in the break room, key Mike Tannenbaum's car or blow up the HQ because of a dispute over a red stapler, but they've announced that they'll be letting him go this Friday nonetheless.

Everyone has seen this day coming for quite some time, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow a decision that's being made with so little football rationale on both sides.

The Jets, quite reasonably, think that $5.8 million in salary and bonus is too much to pay for Jones after watching him break down late last season and struggle mightily in the playoffs. They are sharp enough to know that Jones's big rushing totals the last two years have as much to do with an excellent offensive line as they do with any innate ability and well aware that Shonn Greene proved himself capable of carrying a heavy load in his rookie year. 

All that said, the Jets still need Jones or some Jones-type back to help carry the load next season. They still figure to employ an offensive attack heavy on the ground game, so Greene will need someone to split the carries. That could be Leon Washington, but it would be unwise to put all your eggs in the basket held by his rebuilt knee. You can always sign someone else, but Jones would be an excellent fit in the complementary role. 

Would be, that is if not for the money and the pride. Jones chose not to restructure his deal with the Jets because, we're guessing here, he felt it was a smack in the face to have your salary slashed and your role diminished after rushing for more than 1,400 yards. He's got a point, but he's going to wind up making less money anywhere he goes and few locales are as running back friendly as the Jets. It's a fitting end, though, as pride got him into this as well.

The big balloon payment at the end of this contract existed only to make for a bigger headline when Jones initially signed the deal. It was never a good bet to get paid out, it was there solely to try and force an early renegotiation that never came to be. Smart business by the Jets, but we're not so sure it's smart football.

It's all enough to make you want to smash a printer to a soundtrack of gangster rap.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
21st Century Solutions
The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out