It's a team game Thomas Jones, come on, I know you know that. So when your team doesn't make the playoffs the first two seasons you belong to it, why are you asking for a raise? I guess you finally realized it wasn't the right move.
The first season you averaged 3.6 yards per carry and crossed the goal line with the ball in your hands just once. You also started a play with the ball in your hands, and twice finished the play without it.
More fumbles than touchdowns? Nice. The Jets were irrelevant but your paycheck wasn't. You were originally signed to a four year, $20 million deal, and I thought THAT was a little bit of a reach.
The season prior to your signing, with the Bears, you averaged 4.1 yards per carry with six touchdowns. Not bad. Pretty good actually. But $5 million a year after that? I guess.
And now, $13 million and two years later, you've averaged barely 4.1 yards per carry and seven touchdowns a year with the Jets. And oh yeah, zero playoff appearances.
So I don't really see any evidence that shows you've improved enough since your original contract to warrant a raise.
You would argue that you had no help your first season and you would be right. But are you saying that your new and improved offensive line, with a half-way decent QB, suddenly transformed you into the AFC's leading rusher? Does that make you expendable?
You would argue that making $900,000 next year would be a downright shame after leading the AFC in rushing; I might give you that one too.
But personally, I find it a little coincidental that the season before you're due your lowest paid yearly salary with the Jets, you have the best season of your career. You would argue that you were in the prime of your career, and you'd be exactly right.
You're turning 31 in August buddy, you're headed for the dreaded down-slope.
And, come on, after this upcoming season you'll have made roughly $14 million with New York, meaning you're due another $6 million in the final year of your deal, right?
That's not so bad is it?
With your sculpted yet aging body, having only shown one season of success, and failing to lead your team to the playoffs two years in a row, it's a tough decision for your team to hook you up with a new deal. Especially after it used one of three draft picks on a RB.
Thomas, you realize that when you're on the verge of 32 and scheduled to make $6 million, you better have had another big season to receive a nice, new contract, or even to avoid getting cut. And then when you're a free agent RB at the age of 33, forget it.
So I feel for you Thomas, you're acting in your best interests. Seasons like you had last year are hard to come by and you're trying to cash in. This is your time to make a move, but it's not in the best interests of the team.
And you signed on the dotted line two years ago, that's the bottom line. You have to honor your contract or attempt to be traded, which could be tough.
So go out there and make the Jets lock you up with another great season. Because your problem right now is that New York has the leverage and you know it, which is why you got your butt back out there.
UPDATE: The Jets let Thomas Jones go before the 2010-2011 and picked up the aging Hall-of-Famer LaDainian Tomlinson instead. Both backs had productive seasons as the Jets returned to the playoffs and Jones' Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West division.