A game-breaking kick returning is important to NFL teams. This individual can change momentum in mere seconds. From 2006-2009, return specialist and running back Leon Washington offered such capability for the New York Jets. His final season, of course, saw devastation with a horrible injury against the Oakland Raiders. After suffering a broken leg, this versatile returner and running back was released. Obviously, thinking beyond this move suggested fear that he would never be the same. Various media sources state that New York has interest in signing Washington, who spent last year with defending AFC East Champion New England Patriots.
Washington would immediately rebuke these concerns, by returning three kickoffs for touchdowns as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, replacement Joe McKnight produced two return scores. While enjoying great speed, he never seemed to have the same kind of vision as his counterpart. At running back, there also appears to be an advantage for this more experienced player. In 2008, Washington set his career high with six rushing scores. McKnight did not register one while in New York.
Now that McKnight is gone, questions exist on how to fill their void at bringing back kicks. His return instantly creates excitement for this group that desperately needs playmakers. While offseason addition Mike Goodson deals with his four-game suspension, adding Washington allows offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to still have three capable backs. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory can both run between tackles, while Washington would be their change of pace who can break outside. Pursuing this move by bringing him back is something that should happen. Jets fans want something to cheer about, and the return of someone they liked elevates morale.