After speaking with Jaguars owner Shahid Khan about the possibility of getting a new contract, reigning NFL rushing king and preseason holdout Maurice Jones-Drew might be further from a new deal than ever. Jones-Drew, 27, has been looking for a new deal since the winter and has yet to report to the team, but with two years remaining on his current deal that will pay him $9.4 million in total, the Jaguars are really the ones with all the leverage.
Following the conversation, Khan simply told reporters, “The train is leaving the station. Get on it…This is not a team about one person.” It appears that the Jags are fully prepared to begin their season and go as long as is necessary without their star running back (and really their only star on the roster), despite the fact they had the worst offense in the NFL last season even with MJD’s league-high 1,606 yards. To further illustrate the team’s position, Khan told the press last week that the running back’s holdout “doesn’t even move the needle” in terms of stress.
Though Jones-Drew said that he is open to being traded, it’s not that simple at this point. While there are a number of teams who could certainly benefit from adding the rushing champ to their backfield, it seems clear that any trade partner would also have to be willing to give Jones-Drew the new contract that he wants, and that narrows the field quite a bit, particularly with the start of the regular season so close and rosters starting to take their final shape.
As far as potential trading partners, the Patriots are a natural fit, especially after the injury to Stevan Ridley, but in the end the obstacles to such a deal are simply too great to overcome. So who else is out there?
The Lions’ running back situation is a train wreck, but Detroit is also flush up against the salary cap and likely wouldn’t be able to give MJD his new deal without hurting another part of their roster. The Packers might actually be a good fit given their 27th-ranked rushing attack last season and the departure of Ryan Grant, but they appear to be ready to move on with James Starks and the newly-signed Cedric Benson.
Jones-Drew’s agent has gone on the record as saying that he would like a trade and wants to play for a team that “wants him.” The only problem is that given the hurdles to clear to make such a deal, there isn’t anyone who wants him that badly.
Fan Hub Action
Marcy Kelly June 12th
Wow! I must have listened to a completely differnt press conference. Oh, wait- you convinently left off all of the good things they just got…
Nathan Devine June 5th
The dude is nasty. The fastball is REAL heavy at 97-100. Steady improvement every year.
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
June 18th, 2013 3:14 PM
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