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Jones-Drew Opts To Stay Away

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has made clear his desire for a new contract.  He said last month on The Dan Patrick Show that he’s one of the best — if not the best — running backs in the game, and that he should be the highest-paid at his position.
So with no new contract given to Jones-Drew, Jones-Drew has exercised his prerogative to stay away from voluntary workouts, which opened Monday.
Everyone was accounted for,” coach Jack Del Rio said via text message, according to the Florida Times-Union.
But that doesn’t mean everyone was present.
Per the Times-Union, Jones-Drew is angling for a deal that averages $8 million per year, with $20 million guaranteed.  Jones-Drew’s agent is reportedly using Steven Jackson’s six-year, $49.3 million deal as a “baseline.”
That’s fine, but until Jones-Drew rushes for more than 1,500 yards (or, for that matter, more than 950 yards), he should adjust his expectations.
Jones-Drew has yet to perform like an every-down back.  It’s unclear whether he can survive the pounding that such duty entails.  So why should the Jags pay him like Jackson or Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson until Jones-Drew plays like one or both or all of them?
Jones-Drew rushed for 941 yards as a rookie, 768 in his second year, and 824 a season ago.  He has four career starts. 
Those aren’t the kind of numbers that justify a huge-money deal.
So his best bet will be to honor his contract, become a restricted free agent (absent a new CBA), and hope that the team chooses then to sign him to a long-term deal — or that another team is willing to part with a first-round pick and a third-round pick for a tailback who might be able to become given the departure of Fred Taylor the kind of constant presence who will churn up big yardage in the running game. 
Though what he lacks in size he apparently makes up for in confidence, Jones-Drew is not yet an elite running back.  When he is, then he should get the contract that goes along with it.

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40 Responses to “Jones-Drew Opts To Stay Away”
  1. hooky40 says: Apr 7, 2009 2:31 PM

    I’m gonna bet he gets a contract more in line with Marion Barber’s deal. Neither was a starter, but both are a big part of their teams offensive success.

  2. kav81 says: Apr 7, 2009 2:32 PM

    “That’s fine, but until Jones-Drew rushes for more than 1,500 yards (or, for that matter, more than 950 yards), he should adjust his expectations.”
    I thought NFL contracts were negotiated based on what a player will do under the new deal, not for past performance(see Tomlinson). With Fred T. out of the picture, there will be a significant increase in Jones-Drew’s workload… shouldn’t this validate a raise?

  3. jimicos says: Apr 7, 2009 2:36 PM

    From the article:
    “Jones-Drew has yet to perform like an every-down back. It’s unclear whether he can survive the pounding that such duty entails. So why should the Jags pay him like Jackson or Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson until Jones-Drew plays like one or both or all of them?”
    I agree completely. He should start calling his own plays. And then maybe he should fumble every fifth carry to emulate Peterson.

  4. Colinito says: Apr 7, 2009 2:38 PM

    Well said, Florio. I don’t know what this guy is thinking. Wait, I do. He realizes that a RB’s career is basically over at 30 and to try and cash in now, even if it isn’t actually deserved.

  5. Campbell2Mossfor6 says: Apr 7, 2009 2:44 PM

    This guy is a beast for his size. But does anyone really think he could pound the rock 250-300 times a year and stay healthy/consistent?

  6. alpod says: Apr 7, 2009 2:48 PM

    the guy is an absolute beast. incredible YPC and gets into the endzone. He is also on hell of a pass catcher. but no, he doesn’t deserve to be the top paid RB. maybe top 5 or 10 but not top.

  7. Hosstyle in Tampa says: Apr 7, 2009 2:48 PM

    Maybe his agent is using the Kellen Winslow Jr. deal….
    (see Browns fans, I can take shots at my own team as well)

  8. mike hunt says: Apr 7, 2009 2:49 PM

    I’m never against anyone trying to get uhhhh pizaid..But he has some kind of nerve to call himself “one of the best, IF NOT THE BEST, rb’s in the game. He’s one of my fav players and I think he COULD handle carrying 300-350 times a year. But dude, how bout doing it first. How about, ohhhhh I dunno, get over a 1000 yards rushing. You been a part-time back you’re whole career and you wanna be paid like you been producing like Terrel Davis or some shit, get real stumpy.

  9. alfie says: Apr 7, 2009 2:50 PM

    He also has like the 3rd most touchdowns from the running back position since 2005.

  10. smiley says: Apr 7, 2009 2:51 PM

    Spot on Florio!!

  11. phillyburdzfan says: Apr 7, 2009 2:54 PM

    “He said last month on The Dan Patrick Show that he’s one of the best — if not the best — running backs in the game, and that he should be the highest-paid at his position.”
    April Fools?

  12. HarrisonHits says: Apr 7, 2009 2:55 PM

    I hope they sit him and fine him if he holds out after mandatory stuff begins. At a time when unemployment is fast approaching 10%, people are living in tent cities in some parts of the country and almost everyone is in trouble, these greedy pricks are pissing me off to no end.
    F-YOU Jones-Drew. You are not the best and your greed does not deserve the reward you and your agent are whining for. GFY. Be thankful you not only have a job but one that has already paid you an awful lot of money.

  13. ninjaturtle says: Apr 7, 2009 3:00 PM

    he might be pushing top 10 in the league…if lucky. I’d put him more around 15-20th best in the league, maybe. Tough little crybaby though.

  14. Norseman says: Apr 7, 2009 3:08 PM

    I get so sick of the lame fumble-itis references to AP. Give it a rest, Gomer.
    Let’s see, you’ve got ginormous linemen, musclebound line-backers, and DBs running flat out into you and using every technique in the book trying to separate you from the ball and you’re never supposed to cough it up. Get real. AP is one of the premier backs in the game and every defensive player wants to be the one to take him down. They don’t want to be in his high-light film, so what do you expect?

  15. FumbleNuts says: Apr 7, 2009 3:09 PM

    He has ALOT more to prove in this league to make the money that he wants.

  16. TealDeal says: Apr 7, 2009 3:09 PM

    He wants MEGA money but, hasn’t quite earned that yet. He does deserve a raise from his meager (meager?) 2nd round salary, he HAS earned that.
    It kind of sticks in my craw that he decided not to show up. When I want a raise at work, I don’t stay home until I get it, I show up and work harder than everyone else…

  17. ninjaturtle says: Apr 7, 2009 3:11 PM

    P.S. to the comment about fumbling like Peterson…J.D. was 3rd in the league in fumbles last year (for RB’s), only 3 less then Peterson and had 166 less carries. Granted he did have like 41 more receptions, but that’s still 125 less touches. Yeah, I have nothing better to do then post meaningless posts with a bunch of numbers in it.

  18. Beastie Bills says: Apr 7, 2009 3:14 PM

    Florio is the king of negative. This website should be called profootballshittalking.com
    Total Yards:
    Jones Drew – 1389 yards, 14td’s, 6 fum
    Peterson – 1885 yards, 10td’s, 9 fum
    Do we need to start comparing these teams o-lines last year? Minnesota has 3 all stars on the left side, Jax had 3 backups at G, C, G.
    Did Minnesota cut Chester Taylor?
    Oh but Jax did cut Fred Taylor?
    So, in other words, Jones-Drew has a right to ask for it and all the leverage in the world. Unless the Jags wanted to turn down Fred Taylor only to draft another RB in the first round this year.
    Florio, you are a douche bag. Take all things into consideration before you post your over opinionated bullshit.
    What about JonesDrew’s return yards?
    He did more for his team, with less help, than Peterson.

  19. nycJag says: Apr 7, 2009 3:17 PM

    The number that matters is this.
    07 Jags with a great line. JD averaged 4.6 per carry – 167 carries
    08 Jags with blow-ed out line – JD averages 5.7 per carry – 166 carries
    Pay Him

  20. festusmonroe says: Apr 7, 2009 3:19 PM

    “Little,” my patoot. Jones-Drew is short, but he’s by no means little. Dude’s built like a truck. And he’s scored 13 TDs per year as a backup; what’s he going to do as a starter?
    Giving him a big contract now will be a lot cheaper than waiting until his contract is up. A small-market team like Jacksonville won’t be able to afford MJD if they try to compete with other teams once he becomes a free-agent.

  21. RobJH says: Apr 7, 2009 3:20 PM

    Norseman,
    Give it a rest. EVERY ball carrier has the Defense bearing down on him trying to seperate him from the ball. So, don’t act like they’re only going after AP. So, until he learns to hold onto the ball, pick up blitzes, become an effective receiver and can, therefore actually stay on the field on 3rd down, please stop trying to annoint him as an all-time great because right now he’s just a one-dimensional player.

  22. alexy says: Apr 7, 2009 3:53 PM

    @Beastie Bills: excellent post. you are exactly right.
    also, anyone who thinks MJD is “undersized” should find the youtube vid of Jones-Drew absolutely blowing up Shawne Merriman, who is considerably bigger.

  23. bcfiel01 says: Apr 7, 2009 3:59 PM

    How can you not understand where MJD is coming from? With everything that’s happened this offseason, (Taylor gone, matt jones gone, Reggie Williams arrested, talk of getting someone to replace Garrard) this team’s hopes now rest on his shoulders which means he’s at greater risk to get hurt. He might not have had a 1,000 yard season to this point, but he also has yet to have a 200 carry season too. That’s all going to change. That’s part of the reason Taylor’s gone, this is MJD’s team now.
    oh and he’s had 40 Tds in 3 seasons. that’s pretty good.

  24. rew14478 says: Apr 7, 2009 4:05 PM

    Pay him….He is a least in the top 5 (single)backs in the league. Many of the better run teams have two backs anyway. I’m not sure he is as cocky as his statement sounded. Maybe he is… Seems like he has his head on straight and he is built like a beast! Besides, are there any other weapons/playmakers on the Jaguars O?

  25. HouTex says: Apr 7, 2009 4:10 PM

    I hope MJD doesn’t get paid that 20 mil guaranteed with a 8 mil per year — if that’s what he gets I can only imagine what Slaton will get, whose contract will expire before MJD’s given that he was a 3rd rounder…..so MJD’s deal will have implications for Slatons and AP’s new deal if or when he gets it

  26. GregO says: Apr 7, 2009 4:21 PM

    MJD averages 254 touches/year (lets not forget he also contributes on punt and kick returns).
    MJD averages 1314 yards from scrimmage/season
    MJD averages 13.3 TDs/season
    And he has done all that in a time share situation.
    I’d say he has earned a raise.

  27. GregO says: Apr 7, 2009 4:23 PM

    Some of you need to look up the definition of the word “voluntary”.

  28. abbazabba says: Apr 7, 2009 4:25 PM

    Even sub-par RB’s score TD’s, that’s not a measure of whether or not someone should get mad $$$$. Lets see him carry the ball 300+ times, then we can revisit him claim.

  29. techstar25 says: Apr 7, 2009 4:26 PM

    Michael Turner wasn’t an elite back either.
    And then one day somebody paid him big money and handed him the starting job. The rest is history.

  30. jimicos says: Apr 7, 2009 4:28 PM

    ninjaturtle says:
    April 7th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
    P.S. to the comment about fumbling like Peterson…J.D. was 3rd in the league in fumbles last year (for RB’s), only 3 less then Peterson and had 166 less carries. Granted he did have like 41 more receptions, but that’s still 125 less touches. Yeah, I have nothing better to do then post meaningless posts with a bunch of numbers in it.
    ————————–
    Not according to NFL.com. According to their stats, Jones-Drew had 4 fumbles last season. Peterson led all RBs with 9. Frank Gore was #2 with 6.
    OK, I think your stats included his KR stats. If you’re going to include his KR numbers, you’d better include the yardage as well. As far as pure rushing stats are concerned, he only had 4 fumbles.
    And FWIW, I was actually thinking of DeAngelo Williams when I posted my original post. My bad. DeAngelo: 273 carries, 1515 yards, 18 TDs, 0 fumbles. But I guess those big mean defensive guys don’t try to tackle him…
    @Norseman: When Peterson stops leading the league in fumbles and becomes a weapon on passing downs we’ll stop bringing it up. Until then he’s a one-trick pony. It’s a damn good trick, but it’s all he’s got.

  31. nedirect says: Apr 7, 2009 4:32 PM

    jacksonville apparently has a bunch of crack heads on their roster. do something than we will talk money. in the mean time lay off the rocks.

  32. hooky40 says: Apr 7, 2009 4:37 PM

    MJD is right and wrong in this scenario. He’s wrong that he thinks he’s “one of the best, if not THE best”, but he’s right to do everything he can to get paid. Technically speaking, the Jags have him over a barrel. After this coming season, he would normally be an unrestricted free agent, but the uncapped season means that he will need 2 more seasons to be unrestricted and thus the Jags could stick him with restricted tenders and force him to play for them or match any offer from another team. I would try and get paid too.

  33. JustPlayFootball says: Apr 7, 2009 4:39 PM

    How many here if they found themselves in MJD situations would not try to break the bank? It’s easy to say you would settle for whatever given the economy, but it’s harder when you devoted a great deal of your life to a job that will not even see you to middle age.
    Given the length of time the average running back plays they need to make it while they can. Try not to be jealous of his situation.
    He will be the Jags #1 back, pay him like one and move on. But- it would be best to pair him with a big durable back to lengthen his career.

  34. abbazabba says: Apr 7, 2009 4:43 PM

    I’m sure the Jaguars would be more than happy to trade JD for Peterson.

  35. hooky40 says: Apr 7, 2009 4:44 PM

    Hey GregO,
    If you have ever played an organized team sport (judging by your comments, you haven’t), then you would know that voluntary is not really voluntary.

  36. Norseman says: Apr 7, 2009 6:11 PM

    One trick pony in that the coach decides who plays on third down. This will be his third season. Yes, I’d like to see him catch passes out of the backfield, like Chuck Foreman. I’d also like to see him pick up blitzes better, too. He runs the plays that are called and he plays on the downs he’s told to play on. Not his call.
    Quit trying to make it sound like he doesn’t know which end of the ball to hold. Do you think he likes having the ball taken away? I think not.

  37. Welsh Gator says: Apr 7, 2009 6:11 PM

    Is Scott Boras his agent?

  38. centurion43 says: Apr 7, 2009 7:31 PM

    Florio, Im wondering if you have something against MJD, he didn’t seem to say it like a conceded guy, MJD just always talks like that, he likes to project a positive attitude. Your making him sound like an Ace Hole.

  39. jimicos says: Apr 8, 2009 12:09 AM

    Norseman says:
    April 7th, 2009 at 6:11 pm
    One trick pony in that the coach decides who plays on third down. This will be his third season. Yes, I’d like to see him catch passes out of the backfield, like Chuck Foreman. I’d also like to see him pick up blitzes better, too. He runs the plays that are called and he plays on the downs he’s told to play on. Not his call.
    Quit trying to make it sound like he doesn’t know which end of the ball to hold. Do you think he likes having the ball taken away? I think not.
    ———————–
    Of course he doesn’t like having the ball taken away. He’s a competitor. And I never made it sound like “he doesn’t know which end of the ball to hold.” I made it sound like he doesn’t know it needs to be held TIGHTLY.
    There’s been great backs who had fumble problems early. Dickerson coughed it up quite a bit early in his career. Barry Sanders cracked 10 fumbles his rookie season. Payton had a few years of that. I’m confident Peterson has the capability to figure that out.
    But let’s face facts here. Lots of people (especially within the borders of Minnesota) are making Peterson out to be hands-down the best back in the NFL and one of the greats. He IS one-dimensional. He doesn’t block well and he’s not used in the passing game. Is that all his fault? It’s tough to say. But he’s still a specialist at this point. If he’s on the field, it’s to carry the ball or to LOOK like he’s going to carry the ball.

  40. Norseman says: Apr 8, 2009 12:17 PM

    Okay, Ill concede your point–to a point. He is a bit one dimensional in that his all-around game is still developing. The guy appears to be coachable and the staff has worked with him on ball protection. I’m sure he’s as frustrated and unhappy about losing the ball as anyone. It’s embarrassing and counterproductive. He’s expressed his determination to develop his all-around skills; blitzes, passes, etc. It is still the coach’s decision when and how he’s used. Do you really think the coaching staff is going to ignore Chester Taylor and give Peterson 90% of the carries? They have to keep the TEs and WRs happy, too.
    I never claimed that he is the best back in the game. That can be subjective and parsed endlessly.
    I’d give him two more seasons and if it’s a case of the same-old-same-old after that, then yes, he’s a one trick pony.

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