Maurice Jones-Drew was the best running back in football two seasons ago. He ran wild on defenses across the league on his way to 1,606 yards and a rushing title. The good trends came to an end though, when Jones-Drew decided to holdout last summer. The holdout was to no avail, and the running back did not receive a raise. All he did in the end, was hurt the Jacksonville Jaguars.
MJD was not the same running back in 2012, and injuries eventually ended his season after only six games. In total, he rushed for 414 yards and one touchdown – a forgettable campaign to say the least.
Now we sit ready to enter the 2013 season off-season, and MJD still doesn’t have a new deal in place. He’ll be going into the final year of his current contract, and due to make another $5 million dollars in base salary. It’s unclear at this point if MJD will again try to hold out for a new deal, or if he will finish the season in Jacksonville, and test the free agent market in 2014.
If I had to pick, I’d guess that he’ll finish out this season with the Jaguars, and hit the open market next spring. If the team was unwilling to give him a new deal after 1,606 yards, it seems unlikely they’ll do it after 414 yards. The kicker is that MJD is set to turn 28 in a couple weeks, so that will most certainly factor into any future offer he receives.
For the sake of the Jaguars, I hope MJD shows up on time, ready to play in 2013. He owes the franchise at least that, and after the season, the two sides should sit down and try to figure out the running back’s future.