New England Soccer Today

JJ Out: Jones Traded to Colorado

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

The Jermaine Jones Saga has finally reached its long-awaited conclusion.

After negotiations on a contract extension stalled, then turned ugly when Jones publicly vented his frustrations, the Revolution traded the disgruntled midfielder to the Rapids on Friday in exchange for Colorado’s natural first-round draft pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft as well as general allocation money in a sign-and-trade deal.

According to a press release from the Rapids, targeted allocation money was used on Jones’ new contract, and he will not require the Designated Player designation in Colorado.

Jones, 34, received the richest contract in Revolution history when he signed an 18-month, $4.7 million deal with the Foxborough outfit in Aug. 2014. The move paid immediate dividends as the star midfielder helped the squad reach the MLS Cup final only four months later.

But 2015 was a far different story for Jones and the Revolution.

The charismatic midfielder began the season on the shelf after undergoing sports hernia surgery in February. Shortly after he returned, he pulled up with another groin injury on May 31 against LA Galaxy, and was forced to go under the knife again for a second sports hernia surgery.

All told, Jones was limited to 18 games, and did not record a goal or assist in 2015. With Jones playing at less than 100 percent for much of the season, the Revolution were unable to defend their Eastern Conference title after they were bounced out of the playoffs by DC United in the knockout round.

After trying to work out a new deal to stay in New England beyond 2015, he vented his frustrations via social media when he tweeted that the club had offered him “less 20 percent” of the $3.05 million salary he earned last season.

“I did everything I could do when I came here to the States,” Jones subsequently told The Associated Press in January. “I helped New England, with the Kraft family, to put soccer in front. And now, I’m getting an offer that is a joke. There’s still time. I have to make my focus on these two games that come with the national team.”

Complicating matters even more for the out-of-contract midfielder at the time: the six-match ban he received for bumping referee Mark Geiger during the Revolution’s knockout loss to DC United in October.

It was originally believed that the suspension was only applicable to MLS competition, but according to FIFA regulations, all sanctioned leagues must honor the ban. In other words, Jones would have to serve the ban even if he had signed with a club outside of MLS.

“It’s a little bit ridiculous, everything. It’s a little bit crazy,” Jones said in January. “So I get a six game suspension in this league. I told the league that I want to go, I have some opportunities.”

But those opportunities weren’t nearly as attractive as Jones originally envisioned. With the lengthy ban looming, interest in the 34-year-old’s services wasn’t especially strong on the international market. He was linked to a move to Bundesliga side Hannover 96 in January, but the rumored move never materialized.

“All other leagues, its half a season played,” Jones said in January. “If you have a six-game suspension, its tough to bring [someone] in. I feel like its unfair that you close a window for a player that did a lot for this country, and this sport here.”

With Jones on board in Colorado, he will immediately begin serving the six-game suspension with Sunday’s opener against San Jose.

After the trade was announced, Jones took to Twitter once again, though this time to express a much different emotion.

His first opportunity to suit up for the Rapids will be on Apr. 16 against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.

The Rapids will play the Revolution in Foxborough on Sept. 3, which coincidentally, will be the two-year anniversary of Jones’ home debut for the local XI.

2 Comments

  1. Peter

    March 5, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Any idea of his salary in Colorado?

    • Brian O'Connell

      March 5, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Hey Peter,

      Not quite sure. It’s definitely less than $1 million if Colorado was able to buy down his salary enough to get it under the $470,000 DP threshold. If I had to venture a guess, I’d peg it at around $600,000 – about what the Revs had reportedly offered him during the winter.

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