The New York Jets will release running back Thomas Jones this week, allowing the leader of the NFL's top-ranked rushing offense to become a free agent.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum said Monday the team told Jones it will cut ties with him when the league’s free agency period begins Friday.
“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,” Tannenbaum said in a statement. “We were fortunate to acquire Thomas and wish him the best.”
Jones was due a $3 million roster bonus on top of a $2.8 million base salary this season. He and the Jets failed to reach a compromise on restructuring his contract; the team wanted him to take a pay cut.
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Drew Rosenhaus, Jones’ agent, didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.
Jones sat out voluntary activities last offseason while trying unsuccessfully to renegotiate his deal, which was front-loaded with $13.1 million over the first two seasons.
He made $900,000 in base salary last season.
The 31-year-old is coming off a season in which he set career highs by rushing for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns while helping the Jets reach the AFC Championship Game against Indianapolis.
Bears release Pace
The Chicago Bears waived tackle Orlando Pace after one season in which the 34-year-old played little like the All-Pro lineman he once was with St. Louis.
The Bears also waived tight end Fontel Mines and guard Tyler Reed.
Reed charges dismissed
A judge dismissed charges of simple assault and resisting arrest against Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, who was accused of raising his fists at a Pittsburgh police officer when ordered back in his vehicle as police dealt with a teammate.
The two misdemeanor charges dismissed by state District Judge Richard King at Reed’s preliminary hearing were the most serious he faced.
King postponed for six weeks a decision on whether to hold Reed for trial on charges of disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
Niners tender Brooks, Baas
The San Francisco 49ers tendered contract offers to linebacker Ahmad Brooks and offensive lineman David Baas.