Have we seen the last of Maurice Jones-Drew in a Jacksonville Jaguars uniform?
One of the best running backs in the NFL, the 27-year-old Jones-Drew has been holding out for a new contract that he believes he deserves, and it’s hard to disprove him.
An AFC Pro Bowler and NFL All-Pro each of the last three seasons, the Jaguars’ workhorse won his first rushing title last season, rushing for 1606 yards on 4.7 yards per carry with 8 touchdowns.
Even more impressive was the fact that Jones-Drew was able to maintain that production facing stack boxes, as the Jaguars had arguably the worst passing game in football behind rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
The 5’7, 205 lb wrecking ball has proven his doubters wrong since he was the sixth running back chosen in the 2006 NFL Draft, outproducing every one of the other five in their respective NFL careers.
After Reggie Bush, Laurence Maroney, DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, and LenDale White got their names called before him, Jones-Drew chose to wear uniform #32, for each of the 32 teams passing on him.
Eventually, the Jaguars chose him 60th overall in round 2, and he’s emerged as one of the best running backs in football, if not the very best.
The Jaguars have been unwilling to give in to his contract demands, as Jones-Drew still has a total of roughly $10 million left on the final two years of the five-year, $30 million deal he signed back in 2009.
However, Jones-Drew believes that by outproducing that contract, he’s earned his big pay day, and recently Jaguars owner Shahid Khan took the negotiations public, saying that the Jags will play with or without him.
With Khan making such statements, it’s led to more discontent between the player and the team, and a trade to another organization seems like the most likely outcome now.
Could the New York Jets get involved in possible trade talks?
The Jets are a pretty logical fit. There are rumblings that the Jets may be ready to shake things up after a rocky start to the preseason on offense.
Jones-Drew would bring a strong presence to the Jets’ huddle, as a veteran of six NFL seasons with the clout of a perennial All-Star.
Shonn Greene is being asked to shoulder the load this season, and he hasn’t quite proven that he’s capable of doing that. Jones-Drew is no stranger to being “the guy,” and he might just be exactly the right guy for the Jets.
If New York wants to be a “ground-and-pound” offense, there’s no better player for that system than Maurice Jones-Drew. It may cost a pretty penny, but it would probably be worth a shot.
Perhaps a third-round pick, perhaps even higher. Maybe Greene and a mid-round pick. Speculating on the specific compensation is one thing. He’d still need that contract extension.
After fellow Pro Bowlers Ray Rice and Matt Forte got new deals of their own this offseason, putting together a framework for Jones-Drew wouldn’t seem to be all that challenging.
Of course, there’s still the salary cap to contend with. But if Mike Tannenbaum can find a way to get MJD to New York, the numbers won’t be too challenging a task for the Jets’ GM.
Frankly, there is little downside to taking a close look at a potential Maurice Jones-Drew trade. The Jets would be wise to kick the tires.
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