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Hutch Sounds Confident Leon Will Be Back

With rumors swirling about Leon Washington getting in touch with the 49ers, Dave Hutchinson predicts the back will return to the green and white.

My take is that the 49ers are going to have to come up with a doozy of a contract -- complete with an infamous "poison pill," a clause that could drastically escalate the value of the contract, to deter the Jets from matching --- to pry Washington away. The Jets organization loves him as a player and person and truly believes he'll make a full recovery from injury.

Even so, I remain surprised the Jets gave Washington only a second-round tender, which invites teams to make a run at him despite his recovery from a career-threatening leg injury. Had the Jets spent another $800,000 and put a first-round tender on Washington ($2.5 million), it would've made a team more reluctant to sign Washington.

I trust Hutch as much as anybody when it comes to insider Jets information. He's got great contacts and doesn't have an agenda.

You can bet the Niners will do a complete physical to make sure the leg is healthy before making any sort of big contract. I know there's bad blood between the teams over the Michael Crabtree tampering charges, but you don't make a move this bold out of spite.

I'm a bit nervous about this. The Jets seemed lukewarm about extending Leon even before the injury. There seemed to be problems dealing with the agent. If Hutch says he'll probably be back barring a dramatic contract, I believe him. At that point, you just would have wished the Jets would have slapped a higher tender (again if they're giving him that kind of contract, their medical team says he's making a full recovery).