Reportedly the offer is now closer to averaging about $4.5 million per year.
This is significantly closer to the $6 million a year Washington and his agent, Alvin Keels, have been seeking. Part of the issue has been a change to the CBA.
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.
Another issue is that a $6 million payoff would be more than the team is paying current starting RB Thomas Jones. Jones, the AFC’s leading rusher in 2008, is already upset with the team over his contract dollars and putting Leon up above him could spell disaster for relations with Jones.
Jones is scheduled to earn $900,000 this season in the third year of a four-year, $20 million contract.
I hope this new deal is one that Leon can live with so we can put this contract nonsense behind us already. Our first preseason contest is this coming Friday against the St. Louis Rams and it would be absolutely great if Leon had his mind on nothing but winning.