Maurice Jones-Drew has been cleared to return to the practice field just in time for training camp. The 28-year old running back only made five starts in 2012 due a Lisfranc injury, which derailed him for months. Jones-Drew is said to be in decent shape, however he has a few pounds to drop before he’ll be at his fighting weight.
The Jacksonville Jaguars‘ running back expressed his joy over be cleared to play on Tuesday, saying “now, it’s back to football. It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited to be out there running around and playing.”
Jacksonville fans would like to think it’s back to business as usual for MJD, but this year could be different. The Jags’ franchise RB will be going into the final year of his contract and the chances of him returning to northern Florida in 2014 don’t seem that great. The odds are that this is his last season as a Jaguar and that he’ll take the money and go elsewhere.
So with the Jaguars being a few years away from competing in the AFC, I believe it would be wise for the team to put their star running back on the trading block. If MJD returns to form and they Jaguars don’t think they can re-sign him – why not float him out there as trade bait for a contending team?
We see this very thing happen in other sports all the time. For whatever reason, football is different and there just aren’t many deadline deals. But the Jaguars have themselves a player they could very realistically deal for draft picks. The new management in place needs to start stockpiling for the future, because the current product on the field isn’t there yet.
Still, the Jaguars should be improved this season with plenty of new coaches and players to liven things up, but too many things would have to fall in place for them to compete. Trading MJD should definitely be something the Jaguars consider to help continue the rebuilding process.
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