It looks like Maurice Jones-Drew‘s time with the Jacksonville Jaguars is up. He is a free agent-to-be and was hopeful to remain with the team. However, that is not the case.
THIS JUST IN: The Jaguars have announced they’ll let Maurice Jones-Drew test the free agent market this offseason.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2013
This season was not MJD’s best. He had only one 100-yard games, despite only missing one game with a hamstring injury. His 803 rushing yards were his lowest since 2007 (not counting the 2012 season). He tied his career-low in touchdowns with five (2010). With Jones-Drew looking for a job, here are three suitors that could utilize Jones-Drew’s remaining talent.
New York Giants: The Giants’ running backs had a hard time staying healthy all season. David Wilson played in five games before suffering a neck injury. There are reports that he may need neck surgery. Giants GM Jerry Reese said doctors believe he will be able to play in 2014, but I don’t think he will be No. 1 guy for New York.
Andre Brown was out for most of the 2013 season with a broken ankle. He came back strong in his first game, rushing 30 times for 115 yards and a touchdown. He did not reach 30 carries for the rest of the season. With neither man capable of being an every-down back, Jones-Drew can come in for a series or two while Wilson and Brown rest up. In New York, MJD will drop in value, but can be a touchdown-scoring machine.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season. They have the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL draft and need a quarterback badly. Many mock drafts that have the Browns drafting quarterback Derek Carr. If that is the case, then why not sign a veteran running back to help the rookie?
The current batch of running backs in Cleveland cannot be No. 1 guys. Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, Edwin Baker and Fozzy Whitaker all took turns in the backfield. Baker has the best performance, scoring a touchdown in Weeks 15 and 16. If MJD goes to Cleveland, he will be a top-15 back and his fantasy value won’t change too much.
Jaguars: Jones-Drew said he would like to be back in Jacksonville. So, why not have them in consideration? They have announced that they will decide to match an offer given to MJD. This may be the smartest decision The Jaguars have made. If a team wants to give Jones-Drew a two-year, $10-plus million dollar deal, the Jaguars should let them. However, if it’s a one-year deal, the Jaguars should at least match it.
Jones-Drew will be the guy in Jacksonville. He does not need to worry about sharing time or losing goal-line carries. Jordan Toddman was a nice fill-in for a couple of weeks, but Jones-Drew is a more powerful back that still has RB2 value.
Wherever MJD ends up, he will still need to be drafted. The round he’s drafted in depends on what team he signs with. There are a few teams that could make him the No. 1 guy and five him RB1 value. Or, he could be a backup and fall to the middle-to-late rounds.