Oakland is where NFL veteran careers go to die.
Well that might not necessary be true in every instance, but it is in the case of Maurice Jones-Drew, who agreed on a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on Friday. While it’s not a bad move for the former Jacksonville Jaguars running back, the Raiders certainly aren’t an ideal team to resurrect his career with.
Now headed for Oakland, Jones-Drew will team with Darren McFadden to form one of the most talented, injury-prone running back duos in the NFL. Jones-Drew and McFadden both possess starting-caliber talent. However, both have also missed significant time over the last two seasons while battling injuries, and will likely miss at least a few games each in 2014 for the same reason.
What’s worse for Jones-Drew is that the Raiders are still in major rebuild mode.
Since free agency opened on March 11, the Raiders have been searching far and wide for talent. They’ve signed several aging, declining players to help on both sides of the ball. While many of them may have seen it as an opportunity to join a franchise bent on getting better, it’s hard not to think it’s going to end up being little more than an extra paycheck before they check out.
It’s great that Jones-Drew found himself another payday and will get an opportunity for a “fresh start” with the Raiders, but it’s not going to be the revival he was hoping for. The fact remains that, since 2012, MJD has been in decline and is nearing the end of his NFL career despite only being 29-years old.
The Raiders are going to ask too much of Jones-Drew, who will either break down at some point this season or put up similar numbers to his pitiful, injury-plagued 2013 campaign. One way or another, this will bring an end to what was once a promising NFL career.
Another win in the books for Reggie McKenzie…