Whether you think Thomas Jones deserves a new contract from the Jets or not, you can probably agree that $900,000 isn't a salary commensurate with leading the AFC in rushing in 2008. Running backs who achieved much less than Jones are slated to make much more in 2009, but that's not the real problem between the player and the team.
The real problem, which Calvin Watkins of FanHouse points out on Friday, is that Jones knows he won't see the $6 million he's set to make in 2010. The Jets will ask him to renegotiate his contract or they'll release him, because they'd rather find another, younger set of wheels than pay Jones that much money. Jones is reportedly concerned about that, and is looking for a new contract so that he doesn't get cut after the 2009 season.
Unfortunately for Jones he's almost three years too late to have that concern. When Jones signed his contract with the Jets, he (or his agent) had to know that there was no chance he'd see the fourth year of the deal. They knew he'd be 32, they knew the Jets already had Leon Washington and that the combination of the two would make that final year impossible. But Jones wanted a four-year, $20 million deal so they ignored all of that and signed the deal anyway.
If he wanted to see the fourth year of the deal, he would have told his agent to negotiate a deal that paid him less than in the third year, not more. That would have at least made the Jets' decision about keeping Jones more difficult. They didn't do that, though, and now they've got to deal with the ramifications of that decision.