Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew is signing a different tune this offseason.
Last year at this time, Jones-Drew was telling everybody who would listen that he was not happy with his contract and that new Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey had not reached out to him. The end result of that situation was a contract holdout that went all the way through training camp and ended right before the start of the regular season.
For all the trouble, Jones-Drew ended his season early with a significant foot injury for which he had surgery back in December 28.
This offseason, as Jones-Drew recovers from surgery, he sounds like he wants to avoid the same situation this offseason. Jones-Drew told the media at the Super Bowl that he does not plan on holding out this offseason with just one year remaining on his contract. In fact, Jones-Drew said that he plans on being at all of the Jaguars’ offseason team workouts even if he is not yet cleared to participate. Despite waiting until the end of December to have his surgery, Jones-Drew should be ready to go once training camp rolls around.
Perhaps even more important is the fact that Jones-Drew seems to be on the same page as new general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley. They have both endorsed Jones-Drew’s plan to rehab his foot injury in southern California while he attends classes at UCLA.
Having a healthy and motivated Jones-Drew on the field in 2013 is going to go a long way towards solving the problems the Jaguars rushing offense had in 2012. It should also help take some pressure off of whoever is playing quarterback for them next season.
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