The NFL’s leading rusher is so unhappy with his contract that he’s refusing to show up to work.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will skip the team’s three-day minicamp that begins today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
That means the Jaguars can fine him up to $63,000, which would cut his 2012 pay from $4.45 million (an amount that Jones-Drew thinks is far too low) to $4.387 million. He could also be subject to having to forfeit a portion of the $9 million signing bonus he received when he signed his current five-year, $31 million deal in 2009.
The Jaguars have not yet said whether they plan to dock Jones-Drew’s pay, but they have said they expect him to honor his contract. By not showing up to the mandatory minicamp, he’s not honoring his contract.
Jones-Drew is the best and most popular player on a team whose new owner, Shad Khan, has made it clear that he desperately wants to attract more fans, sell more tickets and win more games. So if any NFL team were inclined to give a holdout running back a raise this year, it would be the Jaguars with Jones-Drew.
But the reality is that NFL teams aren’t inclined to give any holdout running back a raise. The current thinking throughout the NFL is that running backs break down quickly and are easily replaceable, and the Jaguars likely think the two years remaining on the 27-year-old Jones-Drew’s contract are the two best years he has left. Jones-Drew doesn’t like it, but the reality is that the Jaguars don’t have to pay him a dime more than the $4.45 million he’s due. And once he skips today’s practice, they can pay him even less.