Maurice Jones-Drew Reportedly Unlikely to Receive a New Contract from Jaguars
Superstar running back Maurice Jones-Drew wants a new contract, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have no interest in giving one to him, according to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, which leaves the two sides at a stalemate with training camp right around the corner.
Maurice Jones-Drew can hold out all he wants. From what I've been told, there is no consideration at all on giving him a new deal.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) July 19, 2012
Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing last season with over 1,600 yards and was the only back to average more than 100 yards per game. He also ranked second in yards from scrimmage behind only Baltimore Ravens powerhouse Ray Rice.
The UCLA product, who has spent his entire career in Jacksonville after getting drafted in the second round in 2006, continues to be the most important piece of the Jaguars offense. Jones-Drew carries Blaine Gabbert and his lackluster receiving corps on his back.
Jones-Drew is currently scheduled to make $4.45 million next season and has another year left on his deal after that at $4.95 million. That's the remaining portion of a five-year contract he signed before the 2009 season.
At the same time, he has watched as other dual-threat running backs have scored major deals. The aforementioned Rice received a five-year, $40 million deal. Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears also cashed in, getting locked up for four years at just over $30 million.
The difference is those two players were both franchised by their respective teams, while Jones-Drew still has two years remaining on his deal.
It doesn't sound like the Jaguars have any interest in changing their stance. A previous report from Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union stated the Jones-Drew could hold out into the regular season if the team doesn't budge.
Should the Jags give Jones-Drew a new deal?
If Jones-Drew does decide to remain on the sidelines with hopes of getting the Jaguars to blink first, an already shaky offense will become an even bigger issue. Jacksonville averaged just 15 points per game in 2011 despite his dominance.
It puts the Jaguars in a tough spot. They don't want to set a precedent that they will simply renegotiate contracts any time a player asks because every player who has a good season would come calling. But Jones-Drew is obviously a special case.
The Jaguars are scheduled to report to training camp on July 26. Now that the team has made it clear that it won't be offering a new deal right now, Jones-Drew has one week to decide what his next course of action will be.
The situation warrants watching for Jaguars fans and fantasy owners alike.
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