American Football Database
American Football Database
For the saxophonist, see Leon Washington (musician).
Leon Washington

Leon Washington during the 2008 NFL season.
No. --     New England Patriots
Running back / Return specialist
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-08-29) August 29, 1982 (age 39)
Place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida
High School: Jacksonville (FL) Jackson
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) Weight: 203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 4 / Pick: 117
Debuted in 2006 for the New York Jets
Career history
* New York Jets ( 2006 2009)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* 2× Pro Bowl (2008, 2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012
Rushing yards     2,213
Rushing average     4.7
Kick return yards     6,315
Receiving yards     1,127
Total touchdowns     26
Stats at

Leon Washington (born August 29, 1982) is an American football running back and return specialist for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Florida State University. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Seattle Seahawks.

Early years

At Andrew Jackson High School he won the "Mr. Football" Award in 2001 and later committed to Florida State. As a freshman at Florida State, he changed positions from cornerback to running back.

Professional career

New York Jets

Washington was selected in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. The pick used was obtained by the Jets from the Kansas City Chiefs, as compensation for the release of former Jets head coach Herman Edwards.[1]

Washington gained some attention in his second preseason game, returning a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. Nonetheless, he did not immediately get many carries in the first few weeks of the regular season. However, as the Jets running game struggled in the first few weeks, his role in the offense increased. He first showcased his 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 two touchdowns and led the Jets' to a 31–24 win. In a game in Miami on Christmas night, Washington had 108 receiving yards including a 64-yard reception to set up the game winning field goal in a 13–10 win. He helped the Jets clinch the fifth playoff spot in the AFC on New Years Eve, 2006 with a touchdown run that put that helped to seal a win against the Oakland Raiders in the final game of the 2006 regular season. He finished the regular season with 650 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 151 attempts. He averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry. In an AFC East game, he returned a kick 92-yards for a touchdown against the New England Patriots in 2008. Washington gained 2,317 all purpose yards in 2008, more than any other running back in the NFL.

Washington was selected as AFC Special teams Player of the Week for Week 11 of the 2008 season, the first such award in his career. His 92-yard touchdown was the fourth kick return touchdown of his career, surpassing Justin Miller for the club record.[2] He led the league in all-purpose yards in 2008 with 1606 yards.

Washington was out for the 2009 season with a compound fracture to his fibula that he suffered in Week 7 in a 38-0 shutout win versus the Oakland Raiders. Prior to his season ending injury, Leon Washington had rushed for 331 yards on 72 carries, with a 4.6 yards per carry average. Washington had yet to score in 2009 prior to his injury. The Jets call their wildcat formation "Seminole" due to the fact that Washington lined up at quarterback, and was a Florida State Seminole.

On April 15, 2010 (the NFL free agent deadline), Washington signed his tendered contract with the Jets at one-Year $1.759 million.

Seattle Seahawks

On April 24, 2010 Washington was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.[3] He was assigned the number 33 on his new team; 29 went to first-round draft pick Earl Thomas. During the September 26th, 2010 game against the San Diego Chargers, Washington set a Seahawks record with 2 kickoff return touchdowns. He returned the opening kickoff of the 2nd half for a team record 101yds, then in the 4th quarter he ran 99yds for his second kickoff TD of the game. On March 1, 2011 Washington signed a four-year deal worth $12.5 million to stay with the Seattle Seahawks. Due to the signing of wide receiver Percy Harvin, Leon Washington was released by the Seahawks on March 12, 2013.[4]

New England Patriots

On March 14, 2013, Washington signed with the New England Patriots.[5]

NFL records

  • Most career Kickoff Return Touchdowns: 8 (tied with Josh Cribbs)
  • Most kickoff return touchdowns in a single game: 2 (2010 vs San Diego Chargers) (tied with 9 others)[6]

NY Jets franchise records

  • Most career kickoff return touchdowns (4)[7]
  • Most kickoff return touchdowns in a single season: 3 (2007)[7]
  • Most All-purpose yards in a single season: 2,337 (2008)[7]

Seahawks franchise records

  • Most career kickoff return touchdowns (4)[8]
  • Longest kickoff return touchdown: 101 (2010 vs San Diego Chargers)[8]
  • Most kickoff return touchdowns in a single game: 2 (2010)[8]


Washington married Charity (née Young) on December 19, 2008. They have two sons, Noel and Nolen.

Football card controversy

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 making an obscene gesture. 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.[9]


External links