Maurice Jones-Drew continued his media tour to defend his holdout when he spoke to the Jacksonville media at a scheduled appearance Thursday night while his teammates played their third preseason game in Baltimore.
Both Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been firm in their respective stances so far this offseason, but Jones-Drew said that he never expected his holdout to last this long.
“I didn’t think it would get to this point, from where it started,” Jones-Drew said.
The holdout had reached such animosity earlier this week that Jones-Drew’s agent told the media that the star running back would be open to a trade. However, Jones-Drew told the Jacksonville media that he never requested a trade.
Despite all that was said in the media this week, Jones-Drew said he has kept constant contact with Jaguars general manager Gene Smith throughout the holdout.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, nothing Jones-Drew said during his appearance suggested that he would be willing to play this season unless he got a new deal.
The Jaguars and new owner Shahid Khan have stated several times this offseason that they expect Jones-Drew to honor the remaining two years on the five-year, $31 million deal his signed prior to the 2009 season.
Jones-Drew received a bulk of his contract over the first three seasons and is scheduled to make $10 million over the final two seasons. Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing yards last season and believes that he has outplayed his contract.
Jones-Drew believes that he would be ready to play whenever he returns, but if the situation continues on its current path it is hard to see him on the field when the Jaguars open their regular season on September 9 against the Minnesota Vikings.