Maurice Jones-Drew returned to camp one week prior to the season opener, after a 38 day holdout
Maurice Jones-Drew held out of Jacksonville Jaguars training camp for 38 days this summer. In doing so, he tallied roughly $1.6 million in potential fines for the $30,000 accrued for each day absent from training camp and $60,000 for minicamp. After reuniting with his team and catching up on work lost, he and the team have reached a settlement for how to work out the fine.
As first reported by CBS' Jason La Canfora, Jones-Drew will be fined about half of the maximum amount, or $800,000.
The settlement will add to the Jaguars’ $25 million salary cap to re-sign key players whose contracts will be expiring after this year, including defensive tackle Terrence Knighton and cornerback Derek Cox.
For Jones-Drew, the settlement means that he will also lose out on 25 percent of his signing bonus, as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement signed last year.
Enforcing the entire fine on Jones-Drew could have created more tension in a relationship that has seen a polar shift in temperature over the duration of the holdout. Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s statements that, “on a zero-to-10 level of stress, [the holdout] doesn't even move the needle,” and “The train is leaving the station. Run. Get on it,” did not sit well with Jones-Drew.
Enforcing too small of an amount tells the rest of the team that they can miss training camp and not be severely punished.
Jones-Drew held out of Jaguars camp in hopes to work out a new deal with the Jaguars that would pay him according to his level of performance. The terms of his current contract, which was signed in 2009, have another two years remaining.
Jones-Drew’s stance was that he was the highest performing player at his position last year and he was the most productive player on the Jaguars’ offense. Signing a new contract, or an extension based on his current performance would make great economical sense for the running back who led the league in rushing last year.
The Jaguars believed that his current contract was fair enough, as it was front loaded with cash, and that Jones-Drew was in no position to attempt to rework a contract so far in advance.