Come on. I posted this in a comments section somewhere, but I felt it could be a good discussion starter.
Thomas Jones is a class act who I enjoyed watching play for us the last 3 years. He reminds me of a poor mans Curtis Martin, although nobody was like Curtis. I loved him, and I am thankful for what he did. There is my little piece from the heart.
Now, onto that muscle in your head, you know, the one that the best executives in sports listen to over the muscle in their chest. Ah, yes.. the brain.
Jones is old and slow. No agility, doesn’t break tackles. Thomas Jones season was more a product of our offensive line, then it was a product of Thomas Jones doing anything amazing. He had a good year, and I thank him for it, but let's look close.
Just to give you all an idea, Thomas Jones rushed for 4.2 yards per carry. Pretty good, nothing special at all. Wouldn’t such an amazing back have a better YPC then 4.2 with the best offensive line in the NFL? Just for fun, here are some guys with a minimum of 100 carries who had an equal or higher YPC then that…..
Shonn Greene -108 carries, 5.0 YPC
Willis McGahee -109 carries, 5.0 YPC
Justin Forsett -114 carries, 5.6 YPC
Felix Jones -116 carries, 5.9 YPC
Correll Buckhalter – 120 carries, 5.4 YPC
Michael Bush -123 carries, 4.8 YPC
Jason Snelling -142 carries, 4.3 YPC
Tim Hightower -143 carries, 4.2 YPC
Pierre Thomas – 147 carries, 5.4 YPC
Ronnie Brown -147 carries, 4.4 YPC
Ahmad Bradshaw -163 carries, 4.8 YPC
Beanie Wells -176 carries, 4.5 YPC
Michael Turner -178 carries, 4.9 YPC
Jamaal Charles -190 carries, 5.9 YPC
Jerome Harrison -194 carries, 4.4 YPC
Marion Barber -214 carries, 4.4 YPC
Deangelo Williams -216 carries, 5.2 YPC
Jonathon Stewart – 221 carries, 5.1 YPC
Frank Gore – 229 carries, 4.9 YPC
Fred Jackson -237 carries, 4.5 YPC
Ricky Williams -241carries, 4.7 YPC
Rashard Mendenhall – 242 carries, 4.6 YPC
Ray Rice – 245 carries, 5.3 YPC
Ryan Grant -282 carries, 4.4 YPC
Cedric Benson -301 carries, 4.2 YPC
Maurice Jones-Drew -312 carries, 4.5 YPC
Adrian Peterson -314 Carries, 4.4 YPC
Steven Jackson -324 carries, 4.4 YPC
Chris Johnson -358 carries, 5.6 YPC
Just to give you guys an idea, there were 29 running backs in the NFL this year, who had 100 carries or more and were able to average either the same yards per attempt as Jones, or more yards per attempt then Jones, who has the luxury of running behind the best O-Line in the league. I hate when it gets to a point where I have to seemingly trash guys like Jones here, but since it seems most of you are unable to separate your heart from your brain, it becomes necessary. I get that we love Jones, what I don’t get is that we made some big mistake by letting a clearly declining running back at the age of 32 walk after 1500 carries in the last 5 years (and in the 5 years before that, he only had about 750, half of that). Jones will probably start declining very soon, let him to to the Pats. I would rather face Jones then have to try to cover Faulk out of the backfield. Jones doesn’t intimidate anybody.
Again, I love Jones, and I don't like having to devote a post to all the guys who actually were more efficient then he was this year, but it has come to this. I am sick of hearing about how Mike T screwed the Jets over by letting Jones walk, because Jones is your favorite player. If you can't deal with losing fan favorites, then sports aren't for you, especially not football. This is common. It was Jones time to go, this was very clear to a lot of people, but some people just can't get over losing their fan favorite. I will just say this. When whoever ends up being the feature back next year is well over 1000 yards and they are showing what an explosive back can do with the leagues most dominant line, you won't be thinking about Thomas Jones.
So appreciate him for what he has done, but just realize it is time to move on, this is the nature of the NFL. There is somebody younger, fresher, and more explosive ready to take his spot.