Leon Washington spoke with the press yesterday and talked about how valuable he feels he is to the team.
Leon Washington sounded like an agent - his own agent.
The Jets' all-purpose dynamo, entering the final year of his original contract, is seeking a long-term extension. Washington didn't say how much he wants, but it's probably safe to assume that anybody who compares himself to Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is looking for mega bucks.
"I'm trying to revolutionize the game, trying to take it to the next level like the guys back in the day, like a Dave Meggett or a Gale Sayers," he said Thursday at the team's offseason program. "They did so much and did it so well. I want to bring that style back at a high level. In my opinion, that, plus the leadership I give in the locker room, is priceless."
Revolutionize the game like Dave Meggett?
At any rate, the Jets should not need anybody to remind them what a weapon Leon is. He is the first threat this team has had capable of taking it the distance on any play in a long time. While Eric Mangini seemed to have some sort of bias against giving him too many carries because of his size, Leon has experienced success as a runner whenever given the opportunity.
Since he is only a year from free agency, it is surprising the Jets did not extend him right off the bat this offseason. One can only expect this will become a priority after the Draft, when the team will not have to focus on scouting college players and courting free agents. The Jets will know their exact cap situation for 2009 and can structure a deal in the most efficient way possible.
Not handling this before the season starts would probably not be wise. Rex Ryan has hinted that Leon will get a bigger role in the offense this season, which means he will probably be even more productive and come with a bigger price tag a year from now. Putting it off will be costly.