Promising Turn in Leon Washington Contract Negotiations?

The Jets are under the gun to get Leon Washington's contract status resolved with a possible holdout looming. It appears talks are ongoing.

Washington, seeking a long-term extension, still hasn't decided if he will report to camp under his existing contract, his agent, Alvin Keels, said Monday.

"It's a work in progress," Keels said of the negotiations, declining to offer specifics.
It's believed the Jets were preparing a new proposal to Washington, due to make $535,000 in the final year of his original contract. He's looking for at least $6 million per year.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't be such a complicated deal, but the financial landscape has changed because of a rule change in the collective bargaining agreement. Washington will be a restricted free agent in 2010, not unrestricted, and the Jets can retain him for a qualifying offer that would be significantly less than a long-term deal. Under the previous rules - it changed because 2010 looms as an uncapped year - he would have been unrestricted next year

Some think the potential for the uncapped year gives the Jets leverage. I don't see it that way. It only puts things off for one year. 

He's taking a more active role in the offense, which is likely going to mean bigger stats. That will mean higher contract demands. If the Jets sit on this, and he has a big year, the team's going to have to give him an even bigger deal a year from now. At that point, the Jets lose any leverage because then he will be approaching unrestricted free agency.

Get this done.

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