Jermaine Jones could barely wait for the Rapids season to end to threaten to leave

Jermaine Jones may have played his last match for the Colorado Rapids.

It took only about an hour for the Rapids’ season to end before Jones announced on social media that he is looking to offer his services elsewhere. He deleted his tweet shortly thereafter, but it lives on in various screenshots online:


Jones made similar comments to the Denver Post in the locker room after Sunday’s 0-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders to end Colorado’s playoff run.

“People know that I came to this league as a (Designated Player) and this is where I want to go back to,” Jones said. “I’m a free agent now. I will sit back and see what comes. I’m not scared to go back to Europe or scared to go to Mexico or somewhere.”

Jones is not eligible for free agency under MLS rules. Though he meets the age requirement and it sounds like his contract may be ending, he has not accrued eight years of service in MLS he needs to be a free agent. If his contract expires and/or the Rapids decline an option to extend, Jones would have to go through the re-entry process so a new club can select his rights. Because of MLS’ single entity model, players essentially sign with the league, not individual clubs, and the league has mechanisms to ensure what it sees as fairness in teams acquiring talent.

But Jones is a free agent in the sense that he can go sign outside of MLS if his contract with the Rapids is set to expire.

The question is where the 35-year-old can go. Though he is still capable of playing at a high level – he was arguably the best player on the field for Sunday’s Western Conference final – he is also noticeably slowing down. He was gassed by the second half of Sunday’s match, and he has become increasingly injury prone.

It sounds like more than anything, Jones is looking for a bump in salary and he will move where he can get it. He earned $650,000 with the Rapids this season, a big drop from the $3 million the New England Revolution paid him.

His departure from New England was especially messy, with Jones pleading his case on social media and demanding the Revs don’t cut his salary. But Jones earned a six-game suspension heading into this season after shoving a ref, which on top of his age, made the Revs rethink his value to their team. On top of those games he missed after moving to the Rapids to serve his suspension, Jones was also out from July through October with an injury.

Still, Jones has been a key player for the U.S. national team and he remains a name that is popular with American fans. That might be enough to convince an MLS club to go after him.