Jonesing for a big year in New York

By Adam Levy  |   Tuesday, June 12, 2007  |  Comments( 8 )

New York Jets
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After a trade with the Chicago Bears, the New York Jets inked workhorse running back Thomas Jones to a $12 million deal this past offseason, fortifying an impotent running game at the Meadowlands that had Jimmy Hoffa rolling in his grave last season.

Well, it looks as if Jimmy can rest again.

With age and injuries leaving Curtis Martin a spectator last year, the team in green was forced to go to a three-headed monster of Leon Washington, Kevan Barlow and Cedric Huston. The committee never clicked and the lack of an established tempo hindered the team's offense, which finished 20th overall in rushing and 25th in overall yards per game -- Jones should solve that.

The 28-year-old back is coming off a trio of stellar seasons with the Chicago Bears, having thoroughly established himself as one of the league's elite dual threats. He has averaged over 1,400 rushing and receiving yards annually in that span under adverse conditions in the Windy City. Between touted first-round pick Cedric Benson cutting into his carries and the parade of mediocre quarterbacks, Jones never really had the surrounding components to maximize his potential -- Gotham will be different, as the rusher falls into the right offense at the right time.

With a solid line led by marksman quarterback Chad Pennington, wunderkind head coach Eric Mangini will make better use of Jones' sure hands. Receivers Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery will ease the pressure off cheating defenses, a luxury Jones was never afforded with Chicago's anemic passing game. And Jones' relationship with budding actress Meagan Good ensures he will get his fair share of tabloid space in the city that never sleeps.

Fantasy analysis: Jones ranks as a solid second running back for your team to be selected somewhere in the second round. If your league awards extra points for catches, then bump him up a tad. While he lacks the over-the-top upside available in others at the position, his consistency and optimal situation in the Big Apple make for a guy who will perform at a respectable level each week.

He'll make Jimmy proud.

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CommentsComments: 8  |  Sign Up  View all comments
12:46 PM
YES! You make a great point about NY's passing game having a positive affect of Jones. Pennington, with all his faults, is much...
01:46 PM
YEAH GENIUS, Good luck with that. First. Grossman took bears to SB check the stats.. way the hell better than penningpenis,...
05:32 PM
Jones "goes down easy", huh? I think you're confusing him with your girlfriend, bro. Three 1,000 yard seasons in a row with an...
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