That's bad news for Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, the team's top draft pick who will need a strong running game if he starts from day one.
Washington, the Jets' dynamic running back/kick returner, skipped the first day of the Jets' organized team activities Monday amid reports he's unhappy with his current contract, which has a base salary of $535,000.
Jones, 30, the team's No. 1 running back, has been a no-show for all of the team's workouts this offseason. Jones is scheduled to make $900,000 in 2009, the third season of a four-year, $20 million contract he agreed to when he was acquired from the Bears in 2007. He made $13.1 million in the first two seasons of his contract.
Washington, 26, is entering the final season of his initial rookie contract. He reportedly is seeking a new contract that averages $6 million per season. The Jets have been negotiating a new contract with Washington this offseason, but according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., those talks hit a snag. A source told the newspaper that the team's initial offer to Washington was "insulting."
Washington led the NFL with 2,337 all-purpose yards in 2008 and scored nine touchdowns. Jones also enjoyed a standout 2008 season, rushing for 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Jets also drafted another running back, Shonn Greene, with the first pick of the third round -- trading three draft picks to move up 11 spots to select him.
All of the Jets' workouts so far have been voluntary. Their first mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 9-11.