The running back position is probably the most grueling and physically taxing position in the NFL. Over time, the position has diminished in importance to such an extent that the every down back is nearly extinct.
As a result of how short of a career span a running back has, it is only logical that the few remaining star running backs in the NFL should hold out for the financial security of a lucrative contract.
If a player is going to be properly compensated based on both their importance to their respective teams and their on the field production, then Forte and Jones-Drew have absolutely no choice but to hold out.
Currently the Jaguars are extremely inexperienced on offense. The only veteran playmaker the Jaguars have is Jones-Drew.
Keep in mind that Blackmon and Gabbert are still developing as players and will take time to fully reach their potential. Due to the Jaguars' collective inexperience on offense, that leaves Jones-Drew as the focal point of the offense and Gabbert's crutch.
Given the fact that Jones-Drew is probably never going to get another chance at a lucrative for the rest of his career, he is obligated to hold out for more money. If being Gabbert's training wheels is not enough reason for the Jaguars to give Jones-Drew more money, then consider the fact that he lead the NFL in rushing last season with 1,606 rushing last season—and did not miss a game.
Also, ever since he became the focal point of the Jaguars running game, he has averaged over 1,000 rushing yards each season on a lethargic Jaguars team with inconsistent quarterback play.
Jones-Drew deserves the financial security of a more lucrative contract. Now is the best time to get his just rewards for being one of the NFL's elite running backs.
Matt Forte also deserves a lucrative contract, not necessarily because he has the same stats as Jones-Drew, but because of the important role that he is going to play in the Bears playoff run this next season.
Forte gives the Bears extreme offensive flexibility that will be needed this season.
Forte is not only a powerful back, but he is able to help the Bears in the passing game. Since his entry into the NFL in 2008, Forte has averaged around 500 receiving yards per season.
The Chicago Bears would be smart to pay the man, especially considering that he is probably a better receiver than half of the Bears roster. With the NFL becoming a pass-first league, being able to have such an offensive weapon is not just a necessity, but a near requirement to win in today's NFL.
If I understand any aspect of American capitalism, it's the fact that money heals all wounds.