Leon: Players concerned about team chemistry

April, 27, 2010
4/27/10
12:54
PM ET
Former Jets running back Leon Washington, in his first New York-area interview since his trade to the Seahawks, didn’t take any parting shots at his old team. But he did give credence to a growing concern around the Jets _ team chemistry.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends I talk to, a bunch of guys, and they’re excited about the new players they have coming in, but they do have questions about how well they will gel with the new people in the locker room,” Washington said Tuesday in an interview with WFAN. “Those guys are professionals and I’m sure they’ll handle it, but at the same time, it takes continuity and it takes time to build relationships.”

The front office has unloaded several team leaders, including Washington, Alan Faneca and Thomas Jones. The Washington-Faneca bombshells left some returning players wondering if the organization, in its quest for a Super Bowl, had too much tampering with team chemistry.

Washington, coming off a major leg injury, became expendable when the Jets traded up in the fourth round to select USC running back Joe McKnight. A short time later, they traded Washington and a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for a fifth-rounder (Kentucky fullback John Conner).

Washington said he “definitely wanted to stay” with the Jets. Being traded, he said, “adds fuel to my motivation.” Asked if he’s bitter toward the Jets, he replied, “I’d like to say, no, not at all, but it’s only natural for me to feel that way. If I didn’t feel that way, it would mean I didn’t have any feelings toward the Jets. Honestly, I’m kind of upset that I’m not going to be a Jet this year. But I’m looking forward to the opportunity I have in Seattle.”

He also was asked about his wife’s post-trade comment on his Twitter page. When the trade went down, she tweeted, “Good Luck paying the 20 people due contracts @ the end of the season. Lol. Thank You Jesus for getting us out of here."

“I have to agree with my wife, that’s my wife,” Washington said. “I didn’t like when she made that comment, but she cares so much about her husband, she cares so much about Leon. I told her, ‘You have to understand, it’s a business.’ I’m not the only one who feels this way. Look at Alan Faneca. Look at Thomas Jones.”

It’s a business, all right, but the Jets are doing a lot more business than other teams.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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