Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wants a new contract, but the team doesn’t sound particularly interested in giving it to him.
Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union that the Jaguars have no plans to give Jones-Drew a new deal.
“He has expressed that he would like to renegotiate and we have expressed, again, that we feel he has a contract with two years left and we expect him to fulfill those obligations,” Smith said.
The five-year, $31 million contract that Jones-Drew signed before the 2009 season pays him $4.45 million this year and $4.95 million last year. That’s relatively low for a guy who just led the league in rushing last year and who is by far the best offensive player on the team, but the reality in the NFL these days is that teams just aren’t eager to give big money to running backs, especially running backs who still have two years left on their current contracts.
This situation could get even more interesting if Jones-Drew fails to show up for the team’s mandatory minicamp, which begins on Tuesday. If Jones-Drew skips the full three-day minicamp, the Jaguars can fine him $63,000. Smith said Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey would be the one to decide if the Jaguars do, in fact, dock Jones-Drew’s pay.
“That’s a decision that certainly is the head coach’s decision,” Smith said of fining Jones-Drew. “And I would support that.”
Which means that Jones-Drew, who is unhappy to be making $4.45 million this year, may see his 2012 pay reduced to $4.387 million by the end of this week.