Washington, Leon

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Leon Washington
Leon Washington was a Pro Bowl running back for the New York Jets from 2006 until 2010.

Contents

Background and college

Born August 29, 1982, in Jacksonville, Florida, Washington was heavily recruited during his high school career at Andrew Jackson Senior High School, where he was first brought to local prominence by talk-show host Travis Newsome, of AM 930 the Fox, Washington elected to play college football for Florida State.

NFL Career

As a Jet

Washington was the 20th pick in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The pick used to select Washington was obtained by the Jets from the Kansas City Chiefs, as compensation for former Jets head coach Herman Edwards.

Washington gained some attention in his second preseason game returning a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. Nonetheless, he didn't immediately get great amounts of touches in the first few weeks of the regular season. However, as the Jets running game struggled in the first few weeks, Washington's role in the offense increased. He first showcased his agility and running ability on a 47 yard reception Week 3 in Buffalo. Two weeks later in Jacksonville, he recorded his first 100-yard rushing game, running for 101 yards in a Jets 41-0 loss. His breakout performance came on October 22 at home against Detroit in a game in which Leon ran for 129 yards for 2 touchdowns and led the Jets' to a 31-24 win. In a vital game in Miami on Christmas night, Washington had 108 receiving yards including an exciting 64-yard reception to set up the game winning field goal in a 13-10 win. He helped the New York Jets clinch the fifth playoff spot in the AFC on New Years Eve, 2006 with a touchdown run that put the game out of reach for the Oakland Raiders. He finished the regular season with 650 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 151 attempts. Washington averaged 4.3 yards per rush.

In 2007, after Justin Miller's season ending injury, Washington took over on kick return duties for the Jets. A 98 yard TD return against the Dolphins was followed up 2 weeks later by another 98 yard TD return against the Giants. The 2008 season saw Washington being used primarily on return duties. More TD returns followed, including a 92 yarder against the New England Patriots. Many felt that he was underused by Eric Manigini, only getting a handful of touches in each game. In the December win against Buffalo, Washington only had one rush, but it was a 47 yard touchdown rush. In December, he was named to his first Pro Bowl. Washington's 2009 season ended with a compound fracture to his fibula in the Week 7 in a 38-0 win over the Oakland Raiders. On April 15, 2010 (the NFL free agent deadline), Washington signed his tendered contract with the Jets at one-Year $1.759 million.

After the Jets

On April 24, 2010 Washington was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.


Statistics

Regular Season

    Receiving   Rushing   Returns
Season Rec Yds Avg TD Lng Att Yds Avg TD Lng KR Yds Avg TD PR Yds Avg TD
2006 25 270 10.8 0 64 151 650 4.3 4 23 6 79 13.2 0 13 97 7.5 0
2007 36 213 5.9 0 18 71 353 5.0 3 49 47 1291 27.5 3 20 183 9.2 0
2008 47 355 7.6 2 40 76 448 5.9 6 61t 48 1231 25.6 1 29 303 10.4 0
2009 15 131 8.7 0 33 72 331 4.6 0 49 16 385 24.1 0 2 16 8.0 0
Total 123 969 7.9 2 64 370 1782 4.8 13 61t 101 2601 25.8 4 64 599 9.4 0

Playoff Statistics

    Receiving   Rushing   Returns
Season Rec Yds Avg TD Lng Att Yds Avg TD Lng KR Yds Avg TD PR Yds Avg TD
2006 4 25 6.3 0 12 11 50 4.5 0 19 0 0 0.0 0 1 7 7.0 0
Total 4 25 6.3 0 12 11 50 4.5 0 19 0 0 0.0 0 1 7 7.0 0


Football Card Controversy

Flipping the bird?
Washington's 2006 Bowman "Signs of the Future" card with the Jets caused a great deal of controversy during the third week of November, 2006, in which it appears that he is "flipping the bird." The card sold on eBay during that time for more than four times its book value. Washington insists his gesture is a popular hand gesture among his friends in his hometown.
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