MLS Moves: Jermaine Jones intends to shop around

The best Rapids player on the field for most of their 1-0 loss to Seattle Sunday may not be back next year.

Midfielder Jermaine Jones, who joined Colorado last winter in a trade after he couldn’t agree on salary terms with New England, is out of contract and uncertain about which team he will play for next season.

“To be honest, right now, I don’t know,” Jones said to reporters Sunday. “I’ll go home and enjoy family time with my kids. I’m a free agent, so nobody owns my rights. So I will sit back and see what comes.

“I don’t know if I’ll stay in MLS, maybe something else comes up. I don’t know. Right now, I’ll really relax, so it’s no pressure on me. It’s always good if you always have the cards in your hands, especially if you’re a free agent.”

Jones is only a free agent if he leaves the league, unless the Rapids don’t attempt to re-sign him. His rights are retained by Colorado if they do make him a reasonable offer and in that case, other MLS teams can only acquire his rights in a trade. He is not eligible for MLS free agency, which is restricted to players at least 30 years of age and with a minimum of eight years’ service in the league.

Jones, 35, has played three MLS seasons with New England (2014-15) and Colorado.

The Revs paid him $3 million per season as a Designated Player and after he balked at their offer of $600,000, the Rapids acquired his rights by trading their first 2017 SuperDraft pick and general allocation money to New England. A six-game suspension meted out by MLS for an altercation with referee Marc Geiger in last year’s final playoff game and a torn LCL limited him to nine regular-season appearances with Colorado, though he played 308 minutes (of 390) in the playoffs.

“I think everybody knew that this season was special and my situation was completely different before the season,” Jones said. “But I said I don’t care about money. I’ll come and I’ll play and show everybody that I can be an impact. “But of course, next season, I’ll be a free agent, and people know I came to this league as a DP and I think this is where I want to go back to. I’m a free agent and we’ll see what comes, but I’m not scared to go back to Europe or scared to go to Mexico or somewhere. So everything is open for me and what’s important for me is that I feel happy with the decision, and especially my family too.”

Jones owns a home in Southern California, where he lives with his wife Sarah and their five children. Injuries and international callups have limited him to 27 regular-season games in the past two years.

Of the Rapids’ season that registered a second-place finish in the Western Conference after two poor campaigns, he said, “I think that we proved a lot of people wrong, and to be a part of this group is something nice and it’s special.”
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