Maurice Jones-Drew's Contract Should Be Jacksonville Jaguars' Top Priority

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIIAugust 9, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01:  Running back Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars rushes upfield against the Indianapolis Colts January 1, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Maurice Jones-Drew has nearly $5 million in base salaries due to him over the next two seasons respectively, but those two figures are not settling well with the defending rushing champion of the National Football League. 

Jones-Drew has every reason to be unhappy with his current deal, because the running back excelled last season in an offense that was dreadful in the passing game. 

The Jags ranked dead last in passing yards and total offense, which allowed defenses to stuff the box with as many as eight men at certain points in the game. 

The workload took its toll on the veteran running back, which is why he wants to be financially secured before enduring yet another brutal season as the Jaguars featured back. 

Peter King of Sports Illustrated believes that the Jags are going to let Jones-Drew sit, which will allow backup running back Rashad Jennings to handle the majority of the team’s workload early this season.

The team, however, feels comfortable with Jennings as the team's featured back, according to King, which is not good news for the Jones-Drew corner. 

The Jaguars already possess one of the league's best and underrated defenses, and with a full offseason under his belt, the Jaguars' second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert should improve on last year's inconsistencies. 

That's all great news for a Jaguars team that is not receiving any respect throughout both the league and the media, but the loss of Jones-Drew for any amount of time hinders any chance of this team breaking that stereotype or competing for a playoff spot. 

The Jaguars are a team that will surprise some people this season if they get their priorities straight by securing Maurice Jones-Drew to the contract that he most certainly deserves.