Denny Medley/US PresswireThomas Jones, now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, will face his former Jets teammates on Sunday.
Critical game for Jets and KC Chiefs to stay alive
The New York Jets face the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend in East Rutherford. Star-Ledger Jets beat writers Jenny Vrentas and Conor Orr report from the Jets training facility in Florham Park. (Video by Ed Murray / The Star-Ledger)
Thomas Jones was not surprised he was let go by the Jets in March 2010, even after racking up career highs in touchdowns (14) and rushing yards (1,402) during the 2009 season.
He did not report to the voluntary offseason workouts and some of the organized team activities in 2009. At the time, it was speculated this was due to unsuccessful attempts by Jones to renegotiate his deal. He was released just before a sizable roster bonus was to come his way.
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“I knew what was possibly going to happen before the season started,“ Jones, now a Kansas City Chief, said today. “That’s why I didn’t go to the offseason program, because I wanted to just secure my last year there. But it happened for a reason, ended up out here in Kansas City.”
Even today, as his Chiefs prepare to visit MetLife Stadium Sunday, he is remembered by the Jets as a locker room leader and a voice of the 2009 group that reached the AFC Championship Game.
“I thought the world of Thomas,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We all did, and we all do. ... It’s funny, we took out an ad in one of the papers basically letting Kansas City know what they got in Thomas Jones.”
QB Mark Sanchez said Jones was always the first to approach him after a mistake and remind him, “Hey, man, you’re our guy.” Something Sanchez finds himself doing for rookies now.
Jones was a mentor to Sanchez and then-rookie running back Shonn Greene.
Said CB Darrelle Revis: “I wish he wouldn’t have left. I wish we still had him as a teammate.”