Apparently there is fire near the Thomas Jones smoke. Rich Cimini has confirmed the reason the running back is sitting out workouts is indeed displeasure with his contract.
I'm not surprised that Thomas Jones is unhappy with his contract. (And, yes, I have confirmed that is the reason he's skipping work outs.) Late in the season, when he was making a run for the AFC rushing title, I glanced at his 2009 contract and noticed a relatively modest base salary -- $900,000. That, combined with the reputation of his show-me-the-money agent (Drew Rosenhaus) and Jones' track record with contracts (he complained in 2006 with the Bears) ... well, it didn't take a genius to predict the current situation.
One can comprehend his position to a degree. He just won the AFC rushing title and is looking for a new payday. However, there is no way the Jets are giving him a new deal. Jones is 31 years old, which is elderly for a running back. He will not justify a higher salary in the near future, and new running backs are really, really easy to find. It is not as if the Jets owe him anything. They already gave TJ a big contract in 2007. He may have outperformed his deal in 2008, but it is not as if the front office asked him to take a paycut after his first year in which he only ran for 3.6 yards per carry.
It is not clear how unhappy he is. Perhaps he will just pout right now. Since Drew Rosenhaus is his agent, there at least has to be some fear a holdout could be in the works in which he may try and force a trade. In any event, this increases the possibility the Jets take a running back in the Draft.