Jets release statement regarding Jones, will release veteran Friday

The New York Jets issued an official statement on Monday, confirming the imminent release of veteran running back Thomas Jones.   The team will sever ties with the 11-year veteran on Friday, the first official day of the NFL’s free agency period

Jones had his finest season as a pro in 2009, rushing for a career-best 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns, but was due a $3.3 million roster bonus this month. The team’s plans to offer long-term extensions to center Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis this offseason, combined with the youth of running backs Shonn Greene and Leon Washington, made the 31-year-old Jones the odd man out.

The Jets will officially cut veteran Thomas Jones on Friday. ( Photo)

“Thomas joined us three years ago and has been a productive, passionate leader both on and off the field who has served as a positive influence for our younger players,” said GM Mike Tannenbaum. “We were fortunate to acquire Thomas and wish him the best.”

“When I got here Thomas immediately became one of my guys,” head coach Rex Ryan said.    “He had one of his best years last season – might have been his best. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player and a person. As I said the other day, this is one of the tough decisions we had to make for our organization.”

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