It’s a stretch to say at this point that running back Julius Jones will not be with the team next season in a definitive sense. However in a probable sense it’s doubtful he will return for a sophomore season with New Orlean considering they are literally busting at the seam with running backs.
A quick take on Jones: He signed with the Saints in early October after his release from the Seattle Seahawks after a deal was struck with the Bills to acquire running back Marshawn Lynch. At the time New Orleans was decimated with injury and had already lost both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.
Jones appeared in 10 total games with the Saints, getting two starts, but did not make much of an impact totaling 223 yards on sixty carries. In the post season Jones became the Saints primary back during their loss to the Seahawks where he scored two touchdowns.
Currently the Saints have nine running backs on the roster not counting Jones — Joique Bell, Ladell Betts, Reggie Bush, Lynell Hamilton, Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory, Chris Taylor, Pierre Thomas and Deshawn Wynn — numbers certain to land a few of these guys on another team.
Pierre Thomas will remain, Chris Ivory will remain, Reggie Bush will likely return and Mark Ingram in certain to be on the roster opening day.
There may be room for one more on the active roster, but Lynell Hamilton would have to be considered the favorite as the Saints were high on him last season before his injury.
During the 2010 season Jones wore the number 21. Yesterday at Heath Evans charity softball game at Zephyr Stadium, number 21 was worn by rookie running back Mark Ingram, the next big thing for the Saints.
New Orleans made a big splash in the draft this year by trading back into the first round to select the former Heisman Trophy winner at 28 after selecting defensive end Cameron Jordan at 24. Needles to say, expectations by the Who Dat Nation are incredibly high for Ingram.
While it certainly not the most breaking news that Ingram wore the number 21 it does conjure up a bevy of questions surrounding the future of Julius Jones. Could he have let Ingram borrow the number? Well yes. Could Jones have relinquished the number to Ingram? Once again yes.
Whatever you want to beleive is fine, but in the NFL numbers can be sacred. But at least you can look at this way, you didn’t just read another article about the NFL lockout.