Monday, June 11, 2012
Jaguars taking right stance with Jones-Drew
By Paul Kuharsky
The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken the understandable, and in my opinion correct, stance on Maurice Jones-Drew: He’s not getting a new contract.
From general manager Gene Smith, via The Associated Press, on Jones-Drew:
"Obviously, he has expressed that he would like to renegotiate, and we have expressed again that we feel he has a contract with two years left that we expect him to fulfill those obligations. ...
"I would expect him to be here this week [for minicamp], but that's ultimately his decision. It's a mandatory veteran camp for the players that are under contract. I expect all our players under contract to be here, though."
Jones-Drew is 27 and knows his chance to get another big contract dwindles as he gets older. When his current contract expires, he will be 29 and have two more years of wear and tear on him. His value will not be near what it would be now. But he is not in a position to negotiate now.
Those are the facts of life for NFL running backs. It's unfortunate, perhaps, that Jones-Drew couldn't foresee the direction things would head for aging backs and perhaps holdout for a bigger deal when he signed a five-year contract in 2009.
I can't see MJD’s leverage. If he stays away into the regular season -- and I don't expect he will -- he will start losing pieces of his $4.45 million base salary. The Jaguars won't waver and would be content handing the ball to Rashad Jennings, who I bet would fare OK.
Jones-Drew and his agent, Adisa Bakari, didn't quickly respond to emails I sent inquiring about the running back's intentions.