Written By: Adam Poedubicky

Amid much speculation about the backfield situation this upcoming season for the New York Jets, it appears that one day this week they will release running back Thomas Jones. This decision appears to be purely financial from the Jets’ ownership position, as the 31-year-old Jones rushed for a career high 1402 yards and scored a career best 14 touchdowns. Jones stands to make a total of $5.8 million next season, $3 million of which is a roster bonus.

I feel that this move shows brilliance from within the Jets’ organization. The Jets know that they have, without a doubt, the best offensive line in football. One example of this is the Jets running the ball more times (607) for more yards (2756) than any team during the 2009 season. Another example is the three offensive linemen chosen to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl (D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, and Nick Mangold). Therefore, the Jets know that they don’t need to shell out what seems like excessive cash for a player who is very good, but also very unnecessary. They can pay less money to say, a LaDainian Tomlinson to backup second-year player Shonn Greene, who was a monster in the playoffs.

Draft Implications:

All of this is obviously under the assumption that A. LaDainian Tomlinson wants less than $5.8 million and wants to be a backup, which he might have to do if he really wants a championship and B. Leon Washington’s fibula has healed completely and won’t harness his elusiveness. Remember, this is a very, very deep draft, so if LT doesn’t want to settle for less for his best shot at a Super Bowl, the Jets could take any number of running backs in rounds 2 or 3, like Fresno State’s Ryan Matthews, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart, or Georgia Tech’s Jonathon Dwyer, some of whom may be around when the Jets pick 61st in the draft.

So what do you think? Are the Jets silly for releasing the NFL’s third most productive rusher? Or is it time for Shonn Greene to be the guy?

Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com