Updates from Tuesday, April 1
Mike Garofolo of Fox Sports has the latest details on Jones-Drew's deal with the Raiders:
Updates from Monday, March 31
Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has the latest on Maurice Jones-Drew's deal with the Oakland Raiders"
After spending the first eight years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, running back Maurice Jones-Drew has decided to move on and sign with the Oakland Raiders. The team announced the decision on Friday:
ESPN's Adam Schefter provides the details of the agreement:
The 29-year-old player is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. After his 2012 season was limited to only six games, he was able to start in all but one contest in 2013. However, the results were not as good as he would have hoped.
Jones-Drew finished the season with only 803 rushing yards on a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. His five total touchdowns and 1,117 yards from scrimmage were the second lowest of his career, only ahead of his injury-shortened 2012.
As a result, Jaguars general manager David Caldwell felt it was smart to allow the running back to test the free-agent market this offseason, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com:
I think he'll leave that up to his representation in terms of finding him the best value for his deal. I'm not pessimistic at all about it. I think he's earned the right to go to free agency. He's been a great player in this organization and he's had a great career and I think he's earned the right to go see what his value and his market is.
It's our right to decide if we want to match it and bring him back.
DiRocco also provided his own opinion about why the Jaguars should have stayed away:
He’s turning 29 in March and has a lot of mileage on his body. Jones-Drew is a physical runner despite his 5-foot-7, 210-pound frame. He has carried the ball 1,804 times, caught 335 passes for 2,873 yards, and returned 70 kickoffs and 15 punts in eight seasons. The rest of the roster is pretty young, and it’s time for the Jaguars to do so at running back.
Apparently, Jacksonville felt the same way and the running back will now start a new stage of his career.
Despite the back-to-back poor seasons, Jones-Drew still has the potential to be one of the league's best running backs. Only two seasons ago, he led the NFL with 1,606 rushing yards and was named first-team All-Pro, which marked his third consecutive All-Pro and Pro Bowl season.
Altogether, the running back has 8,071 career rushing yards, which ranks fifth among active players and 45th all time. Only Adrian Peterson has more rushing touchdowns among active players than Jones-Drew's 68.
If he can go into the 2014 season healthy and play behind an improved offensive line (and better offense in general), he has the ability to approach this level of success once again despite his age. He already explained to TMZ that he lost 15 pounds in the offseason.
With this latest deal, Oakland is hoping he'll be the perfect complement to Darren McFadden, who was re-signed earlier this offseason.
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