Impending free agent Maurice Jones-Drew looks destined to be signing somewhere other than with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. Jones-Drew will be 29 years old and has 2,135 touches in his career. He would like something like a three-year deal that Steven Jackson and Shonn Greene received last year.
For the first time in years the rebuilding Jaguars seemed to be heading in the right direction under head coach Gus Bradley, owner Shahid Khan and GM David Caldwell. Giving a multi-year deal to an aging running back who came off a Lisfranc surgery in 2012 and posted up a paltry 3.4 yards per carry in 2013 is clearly not on the top of their list.
Jones-Drew reportedly wasn’t too keen on the idea of signing a two-year incentive-laden deal. The days are long gone are when “MJD” was putting up 15 touchdowns a year, and he needs to realize that he isn’t the same player he used to be. Based on the way things are headed for both parties it appears the Jaguars will look to get younger and more fit at the running back position and let Jones-Drew test his luck with another NFL team.
After a disappointing 2013 season, what should fantasy football owners think of Maurice Jones-Drew in 2014? If he signs somewhere else and is able to stay healthy, then he could be viewed as a steady fantasy contributor. Many fantasy owners won’t be chomping at the bit to draft Jones-Drew in 2014 fantasy drafts, but he could hold some late round value.
Even though he posted a pedestrian 3.4 yards per carry this past season, Jones-Drew still averaged 7.3 catching passes out of the backfield. Considering how bad the Jaguars offense was this past season, the reception yardage average should be viewed positively by fantasy owners. The numbers indicate that he can still be a reliable receiver.
Depending on where he signs this offseason, expect Jones-Drew to be in some sort of committee backfield where he won’t be considered a bell cow anymore. He will be considered a low end- RB-2 or a mid-range flex option at the start of the season with the ability to be more than that as the season wears on.