TJB Exclusive: Jets Max Offer Extension to Leon was $2.4 Million per Year
Posted on March 31st, 2010 by Bassett
According to a source close to Leon Washington that talked exclusively to TheJetsBlog.com, it’s time to clear out some of the tangled web the Jets front office has tried to weave during the Leon Washington contract standoff. Webs that apparently began as early as last summer with a tone-setting August Daily News report
that the Jets had “a $5million-a-year offer on the table, [with] $10 million in guarantees” waiting for the Jets running back to sign.
It was left to the public assume the running back walked away from the deal. According to TJB’s source, this report was untrue. The team offered under half of what they told the Daily News they did.
No contract even close to those figures was offered by the team to Leon Washington’s camp.
Instead, the source contends that “”the Jets … offered $2.4 million. Leon is worth way more than that.” In addition to the $2.4 million offer by the Jets there was no bonus or guarantees that kicked in until at least next year.
As it stands now, assuming Washington signs his tender sheet from the Jets, the fifth year player will make just under $1.8 million in his fifth season via his second round tender.
“Trust me, if the Jets would have offered him the [reportedly leaked $5.0 million offer] he would have been signed,” the source stated. “But they didn’t.”
Due to the untimely CBA-RFA restrictions for Washington along with his season ending injury, his contract status with the team have made headlines again due to the team’s surprising second round tender
, agent Alvin Keels’s public assertions
that there are other teams interested in adding Leon, and Leon’s absence
from the team’s voluntary workouts that started last week in Florham Park.
The source also said that at least two other teams are “interested” in Washington.
Beyond the money, the source contends that the false report about the dollar figures offered by the Jets last summer was a move by the Jets front office to curry favor with fans, effectively driving doubt between fans and Washington should a future separation occur due to contractual differences. In other words, the preemptive leak would cover the Jets from a public relations standpoint with their fanbase in a botched negotiation with one of the faces of the franchise.
“The Jets released [the false contract] to get fans against him in case he goes to another team and does well,” said the source.
As for Rex Ryan’s public statements last week
not knowing why Leon wasn’t at the facility for workouts, the source also claimed that the Jets running back “spoke with them everyday” and that team shouldn’t be surprised at his absence, especially since the team pays the bill for his off-site workouts.
The Jets front office was asked for comment, but as of the posting of this article have not made a statement.