The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be heading towards a total housecleaning this offseason, after a disappointing 1-8 start to the 2012 season, but how far will the sweeping changes extend down the roster?
Perhaps the Jaguars most valuable asset on the roster is running back Maurice Jones-Drew, but would the Jaguars consider trading away the face of their franchise this offseason?
Jones-Drew already burned some bridges in Jacksonville this past offseason by holding out for almost the entire preseason in search of a new contract, despite the fact he still had two years remaining on his current deal. The new Jaguars front office will have no reason to harbor any grudge against Jones-Drew, but they may view him as a trade-able asset that could give them some value as they look to start rebuilding the Jaguars roster.
However, Jones-Drew will be in a contract year next season and hungry to prove he is still worthy of one last big contract before he hangs it up. Especially after this season, in which it appears Jones-Drew is going to miss almost half the season with a foot sprain.
The combination of the injury and the contract situation will likely diminish Jones-Drew’s trade value to the point that he would be of more value to the Jaguars playing for them next year than the third-round pick he would likely net in a deal.
His future in Jacksonville beyond next season is far cloudier, however. Jones-Drew has already gone through one roster rebuild with the Jaguars and the chances that he would patient enough to go through another are slim. He may want to end his career with a contender who gives him the best chance of going out on top.
So, while it is unlikely that you will see Jones-Drew in another uniform in 2013, it seems increasingly likely he will be in another uniform in 2014.