The rumor mill heated up quickly this morning that the Jets were testing the waters on potentially moving 2008 AFC rushing champ, Thomas Jones. Jones who is now on the wrong side of 30 is looking at being phased out of New York by third round pick, Shonn Greene. Greene has impressed mightily in camp so far, and he and Jones are similar backs in build and style. One is cheaper and younger; you do the math. While the rumors were quickly put to rest by the Jets organization, smoke generally leads to fire, and the smoke signals are on the wall, so to speak. The day’s rumor had the Jets talking with an unnamed NFC West Team. So for grins and giggles, let’s just consider which team might have been the likely suitor.
San Francisco 49ers ~ They have an oft hurt Frank Gore, but the organization has young Glen Coffee in the wings to spell Gore and pick up the slack. Then again new coach Mike Singletary likes veteran RBs, so there is a chance. Let’s say 30%.
Carolina Panthers ~ They have the two-headed rookie stud machine of Williams and Stewart. Chance; 5%.
St. Louis Rams ~ While still in his prime Steven Jackson misses time every season for some injury or another. The team has no other real threat at the position. Though it is hard to imagine the Rams bringing in someone other than a back up role-player. Chance; 70%
Seattle Seahawks ~ Julius Jones continues to look like a bust regardless of who he plays for. Maurice Morris is gone and TJ Duckett is nothing more than a 3B and goal-line back. This seems like the most likely destination for TJ, IF the Jets were to trade him away to the NFC West. Chance; 80%.
Regardless of whether Jones stays or goes age, a team commitment to the future, and the presence of a dominating rookie RB is going to hurt Jones value. I’d avoid him unless he plummeted deep into the draft. Don’t expect anything close to last season’s numbers.