The biggest issues facing the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason is the status of the holdout of star running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Jones-Drew made some waves earlier this offseason when he skipped the Jaguars first round of mandatory team workouts back in June citing his desire to negotiate a new contract before the 2012 season. However, Jones-Drew has two years still remaining on his current contract and the Jaguars have expressed no desire to give him a new deal anytime soon.
The question remains whether or not Jones-Drew will show up for work if he does not get his new contract.
Jones-Drew is currently in the prime of his career after leading the NFL in rushing yards last season, and sees this as perhaps his last opportunity to score a big pay day before he loses his ability to be an effective NFL rusher.
The Jaguars, however, have no incentive to give Jones-Drew a new contract this offseason. They still have him under contract for the next two seasons and they feel that they did right by Jones-Drew when they tore up his rookie contract early and gave him a big contract before the 2009 season, before he reached his prime.
The Jaguars also have a more than capable backup in Rashad Jennings if Jones-Drew decides to take his holdout into the offseason. Jones-Drew’s importance to the Jaguars may be even less in 2012 as reports are that the new coaching staff has put an emphasis on improving the effectiveness of their passing attack.
Given the circumstances, the Jaguars have almost all of the leverage in this situation.
Will Jones-Drew sit out training camp to make his unhappiness known, or will he carry his holdout into the regular season?
Some rumors suggest that Jones-Drew is willing to carry his holdout into the regular season, but I think he will show up before the regular season begins.