According to ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini, the New York Jets are interested in a veteran running back and kick-returner that was a vital parl of the 2006-2009 Jets’ teams. Leon Washington, a Pro Bowl returner from a year ago, was released by the New England Patriots on the final day for cuts and has drawn interest from his former team as well as the New York Giants.
Washington served as the Jets’ return man and a change-of-pace running back until suffering a broken leg in 2009. New York then dealt the veteran to the Seattle Seahawks and have yet to duplicate his contributions. In 2010, the Jets drafted Joe McKnight out of USC to try to fill the void left by Washington’s departure. After three so-so seasons in New York, McKnight was cut this preseason.
Jets’ general manager John Idzik was an executive in Seattle during Washington’s stint there. In 2012, the 31-year old punched his ticket to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii by averaging 29 yards per kickoff return and one touchdown. In addition, Washington has been productive each year and has always been a positive presence in the locker room, something the Jets could desperately use.
With the team opening up their season on Sunday against Tampa Bay, they may decide to wait until after Week 1 to make the signing official. If Washington signs after the first game, his salary becomes non-guaranteed.