Jacksonville Jaguars: Despite Reports, Maurice Jones-Drew Is Headed Nowhere
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Amazing what one day can do.
In one day, the Jaguars not only reported that they will be traveling once a year for the next four years to London for a "home" game, but by the end of the day reports were flying that Maurice Jones-Drew was open to a trade since the Jaguars were not willing to re-negotiate his contract.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who is starting to be known for putting his foot in his mouth with the media, started off the day's events by answering a question about MJD and the holdout. According to NFL.com, he said: "Train is leaving the station. Run, get on it."
Khan's comments apparently struck Jones-Drew quickly. In a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jaguars running back wrote that he is now open to being traded.
With the news bulletin going up five minutes after the report, and headlines reading that Jones-Drew may be headed out of Jacksonville, it's time to slow down, breathe and realize that nothing that happened yesterday was surprising or means that Jones-Drew is heading somewhere other than back in Jacksonville.
Khan's comments took a private situation and mocked it publicly. Jones-Drew wanted the situation to be handled behind closed doors, which he has respectively done thus far into the holdout. Therefore, it's understandable why MJD was a little bit upset.
Just because Jones-Drew claimed to be open to a trade doesn't really change anything from the day before.
If you are GM Gene Smith, do you trade Maurice Jones-Drew if you are offered a 1st round pick?
The obvious is the obvious, which is that Jones-Drew will want to play anywhere that is willing to give him the contract he is seeking. Sure, Jacksonville was his home since he came into the NFL, and yes, he doesn't want to leave just for the sake of leaving.
But it is all about the money.
In fewer words, Jones-Drew already showed that he would be open to a trade when he did not report to OTA's earlier this year.
Jones-Drew signed a contract to play for the Jaguars for two more seasons prior to becoming an unrestricted free agent.
The problem now for MJD is that he has no leverage in his holdout. Which is one of the reasons his agent, Adisa Bakari, made it clear that the disgruntled running back would be willing to stay in Jacksonville if they can work this ongoing disagreement out.
Who backtracks and states that they are willing to stay the same day they are saying they are open to a trade? Someone who is realizing that he will either be paid nothing and sit out all year, or someone who knows that he will need to come back and collect the paychecks once all trade possibilities are ignored by Jaguars GM Gene Smith.
How about the fact, according to Jaguars.com senior writer John Oesher, that if Jones-Drew does not report by week 10, this year will not count against his contract. Leaving two years remaining at the start of next season.
Saying that anything is impossible is wrong, and that has been proven in the NFL. But Jones-Drew getting traded is as near to impossible as it gets this year.
The running back position alone is being devalued every year that more rules protect the quarterback.
Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy are a few running backs who are paid more than MJD. What is the similarity between them?
How about that none of them are on playoff teams from a year ago.
To say that you should spend tens of millions of dollars on a position that is no longer the key to winning is not only outdated but part of a change in the NFL that needs to be acknowledged by fans.
Who are the running backs on some of the most dominant teams?
James Starks, Shane Vereen, Ahmad Bradshaw, Frank Gore, Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman.
Unless I'm missing something, none of the names listed are top five (possibly top-10) at the running back position, which proves that it is as much about the scheme as it is the player.
Not to devalue Jones-Drew, but if last year proved anything, going 5-11 on a roster with a dominant running back is not the recipe for a winning team. Pass first, run second, win third.
With this information, why would teams want to trade a first- or second-round pick for Jones-Drew, and why would the Jaguars accept anything less to make it worthwhile?
Jones-Drew is at a dangerous point, as he can either suck up his pride and play out his current contract, or he can push this into the regular season, lose paychecks and possibly force this team to trade him a year from now.
Either way, I hope he understands that this team is moving forward with or without him.
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