CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Leon Washington was back on the field for the New York Jets, without a new deal and not optimistic he'll get one before the season begins.

"I don't feel confident that something's going to get done," the unhappy running back said after the team's late practice Friday. "It kind of hurts me a little bit because I've been here three years and busted my tail off and played hard for the organization.

Leon Washington , RB
New York Jets

2008 Statistics
Car./yards: 76/448
Rec./yards: 47/355
Total TDs: 8

"For me not to get rewarded ... I'm unhappy about that."

Washington, a Pro Bowl selection last season as a kick returner, was a no-show when the rest of the team checked into the players' dormitory Thursday because of the contract dispute. He reported just after midnight and fully participated in Friday's afternoon session after only doing drills in the morning.

Washington decided against not reporting because he didn't see the value in it.

"That's the way I felt," he said. "I felt like me holding out wouldn't gain me anything with the contract situation."

The 26-year-old Washington, due to earn $535,000 this season, is in the final year of his rookie deal and is believed to be looking for about $6 million a year. He sat out the first three weeks of organized team activities before returning in minicamp "in good faith."

"I thought we made some progress, but obviously there's still a gap there because we don't have a contract signed yet," he said. "It's been going on for a while, so I'm unhappy about that."

Coach Rex Ryan originally planned to give Washington both sessions off after the running back took his conditioning test at 6 a.m.

"That goes to show how much I love football," Washington said. "This morning, I didn't do much at all except for the warmups and the individuals and I was missing it. So, I decided to come out today and play football to help my teammates out."

Washington's agent, Alvin Keels, said on his Twitter page that he and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum were still working to get a deal done.

"Leon Washington is at practice 2day as we continue to try to nail down the business side of things," he wrote. "He is a Jet and has put the team b4 self. Let's hope we can come to an agreement that will keep him in the green & white for a long time. Both sides are motivated to make it happen."

Tannenbaum has said one of the major stumbling blocks in getting a new deal done with Washington, a fourth-round pick out of Florida State in 2006, is the uncertainty of the league's collective bargaining agreement. Without an extension to the CBA, Washington would become a restricted free agent -- not unrestricted -- next offseason and the Jets would be able to retain his rights for far less than what he's currently seeking.

At the end of the day, they make the calls and they write the checks," Washington said, "so it's important for me to come out here."

Washington has rushed for 1,451 yards and 13 touchdowns, and caught 108 passes for 838 yards and two scores, in his first three seasons. He has also returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.

"We need Leon," Ryan said. "The success we're going to have is going to be with Leon in there. It's funny, those great competitors, it's hard to keep them away."

With Washington at SUNY Cortland, the Jets now have all of their players at camp.

Pro Bowl running back Thomas Jones reported on time and fully participated in practice despite also sitting out voluntary workouts amid a contract dispute.

Training camp blog
The last week of July
means one thing: training camps are officially under way. Get all the latest news and updates from every team at NFL.com's training camp blog.

He's entering the third year of a four-year, $20 million deal. The contract was front-loaded with $13.1 million over the first two seasons, and he's scheduled to make only $900,000 in base salary this season.

Jones spoke to reporters for the first time since the end of the last season, but wouldn't shed any light on his contract.

"I'm not discussing any contract situations. Period," Jones said. "I'm here at training camp right now. The offseason is done. It's the season and I'm focused on now."

Jones is due a $3 million roster bonus next March, so the 30-year-old running back is likely seeking some long-term financial security.

"I'm here, I'm happy," Jones said. "I'm here for camp. I'm excited about the season and excited about Rex. This is where I need to be."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

NFL News
CONTENT
15