New York Jets running back Leon Washington told reporters he had no confidence in a deal getting done anytime soon with the team. This news crushed Jets fans everywhere; they imagined holdouts and bad feelings detracting from what is supposed to be a stand out season for us.
Yesterday, the Star Ledger reported that Leon, who staged a one-day holdout before reporting for camp, now feels confident a deal will be done before the start of the regular season.
This is just about the best news to come out of the Jets training camp yet. A new deal for Leon is just one item on what is starting to feel like a very long list of things the Jets need to address.
With concerns about depth, finding a TE solution, and figuring out which, if any, of the team's current wide receivers will make the cut as starters, the Washington deal going sour is just about the last thing most Jets fans want to hear about.
I think it is safe to say that fans and beat reporters have the same sentiment regarding this; “Just Pay The Man”!
Washington is scheduled to make $535,000 in the final year of his rookie contract, and is seeking a new deal for roughly $6 million per season. There were some rumblings suggesting that his agent, Alvin Keels, was perhaps playing a bit too much hard ball with his negotiations, but Washington insisted that he’s been happy with his representation:
“He’s my agent, so he wants to get the best deal for me also. We talk back and forth. We got a good relationship. I trust that he’s going to put me in the right position. Then I review everything. I’m a smart guy and I know what’s best for me.”
Washington has averaged 190 touches per season during his first three years. He had 195 touches, including a career-high 151 carries, as a rookie in 2006. He hasn’t missed a game in his career.
Despite the numbers, there are those who doubt the 5-foot-8, 195-pound running back has the ability to be an every down back in this league. Washington, as can be expected, does not agree with this assessment, pointing to his rookie season when he carried the ball 150-plus times, started the last eight games of the season, and started the playoff game at running back.
Personally, I have some doubts as well—due to his size—but I can’t question this man’s drive and will. His "can do" attitude is enough for me to say let’s give him the benefit of a doubt. He may surprise us all.
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