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Maurice Jones-Drew: Business side of the NFL is “as real as Sunday”

Maurice Jones-Drew, Ricardo Mathews AP

Some NFL fans want only to enjoy the games on Sundays and not hear about contract squabbles. One prominent NFL player says that when football is how you make your living, you don’t have the luxury about not thinking about the business side of the game.

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has skipped all of the team’s offseason work while he seeks a new contract, said on NFL Network on Wednesday that he doesn’t want to talk about his contract demands publicly. But Jones-Drew, who was appearing after being listed as the 12th best player in the league on NFL Network’s Top 100, did say that taking care of his contractual business is important.

“What I can say about it is this is the side of the NFL that is just as real as Sunday: It’s the business side,” Jones-Drew said. “It doesn’t get publicized as much as on the field and the Top 100 and those things, and this is what the NFL is really about. What I can say is that I hope that we can get something done, but to talk about it in the media is not going to help. Hopefully we can have something where we can be able to get out there and play in the future.”

The Jaguars have shown little inclination to get anything done with Jones-Drew. The Jaguars’ view is that they already got something done with Jones-Drew when he signed a five-year, $31 million contract in 2009. The Jaguars think he should honor his contract, and it’s hard to argue with that.

Still, it’s also hard to argue that Jones-Drew is by far the best player on the Jaguars, and that he’s a great teammate. As he was being praised on the Top 100 show on Wednesday night, he made a point of deflecting the credit toward his teammates, and sticking up for the much-maligned Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

“We had setbacks last year and it wasn’t Blaine’s fault,” Jones-Drew said. “So when I hear guys write stuff about him, I’m very vocal. There are some things that I want to say, but those are said for closed doors with those people. Blaine deserves a lot of credit for what he did. He stuck in there, we played through a tough year.”

If Jones-Drew’s holdout continues, the Jaguars could be in for an even tougher year.

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35 Responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew: Business side of the NFL is “as real as Sunday””
  1. jonpeezy says: Jun 21, 2012 6:57 AM

    Correction: no NFL fans want to hear about contract squabbles.

  2. joetoronto says: Jun 21, 2012 7:01 AM

    He SHOULD honor his contract but he has the Jags over a table, because he’s really their only good player.

  3. emma333 says: Jun 21, 2012 7:09 AM

    Good for MJD to stand up for Gabbert. Anyone that watched the team week in and out know that Blaine didn’t play well, but did not deserve the criticism the national media leveled against him. At times he looked very tough, but this is never reported or shown in “highlights”. He had the worst possible situation for a 21 year old, and he handled the situation with class.
    As for MJD, he has shown a lot of class as well, especially on the most recent report. Hope he comes back soon.

  4. hateonjags says: Jun 21, 2012 7:16 AM

    I need an explanation

  5. coltsluckdynasty says: Jun 21, 2012 7:17 AM

    He did sign the contract, I get it. But, When 1 player contributes to more than 50% of your teams offense, and takes a pounding like this guy does, he needs to get a little raise. The market for runningbacks is declining with each day that passes. But there are very few runningbacks of this guys caliber. In 2 years this guy will be considered over the hill, and might not get a job. I very rarely side with a millionaire player, but I have to say this is a case that I actually do side. MJD deserves to be paid in the Adrian Peterson, lesean McCoy, Arian foster range. I would want to take care of him, losing 50% + of your offense is a crazy thought, and this guy can pick up a block or 2. Give him an increase for 2 years, and make this guy happy. Or trade him far away from the afc south. It embarrassing watching the colts trying to tacklethis guy!!!

  6. spankymcwanky says: Jun 21, 2012 7:19 AM

    I’m really accepting that a player tries to maximize his income and holds out to prove his point, but not every 2 or 3 years. Being a RB or not, the Jags biggest star or not, and thinking you’re underpaid right now or not, Jones-Drew should be in camp honoring his contract.

  7. staugjag says: Jun 21, 2012 7:24 AM

    C’mon Drew its not tour rookie contract you got what you asked for already so honor it. Of course your our best player but be an honorable man also. Your still making over 4 million each year left don’t be greedy. And your good but still not brady or manning so come di what you do and show up and run wild and talk contract as you work

  8. niubears says: Jun 21, 2012 7:32 AM

    I bet MJD would get a better deal worked out if he showed up to work. Why make it public that you want an extension? Show up to work, have your dumby agent take to Gene Smith and do it in a professional way. This sets a bad precedent if the Jags pay him rightaway w/o showing up but also shows poorly on the Jags. Lose lose situation. I see where MJD is coming from, but the Jags point makes ALOT of sense too. A lot easier to get a contract extension when u have one year on your contract and not two.

  9. dryzzt23 says: Jun 21, 2012 7:38 AM

    So if/when the Jags give MJD a new deal, if I were the Jags I would put a clause in his deal that states the following:
    Upon the discovery of declining performance on and off the field, the team (Jags) may cease payment of salary to MJD until such time that the team is satisfied with his performance.

    Multiple times in the past MJD has demanded his contract be modified to address his “outperforming his contract”, this clause’s purpose is to allow MJDs contract to be modified by the team at such time that they believe he is “underperforming”.

  10. crazycane says: Jun 21, 2012 7:43 AM

    99.9% of the time I’m on the players side in these matters. When the owners want to release you, they don’t honor their side of the contract.

    But my GOD man, you just signed a contract before last season!!

  11. nccrabman says: Jun 21, 2012 7:49 AM

    He’s an entertainer playing a game. He was paid on the promise of what he’d do when he signed his contract in ’09. Here’s the dirty little secret he knows – he won’t be the dominant RB he was last year because they have more weapons this year. As a Jags fan I love MJD, but also noticed as he led the league in rushing he also led the league in being caught from behind on many of his long runs.

  12. ogre2010 says: Jun 21, 2012 7:57 AM

    What he is saying is so true!!!

  13. meytonpanning says: Jun 21, 2012 7:57 AM

    Pay the man. They give him too many carries per year to only offer $31 mil. Wear and tear is serious on runningbacks. Maybe a front loaded 3 year deal? No bonus.

  14. wittersworld says: Jun 21, 2012 8:07 AM

    I love the Jags and MJD, and I am really impressed with how both sides are handling this situation. Keeping it out of the media is best for both sides.

    I’m with the team on this one. He’s only getting $9 million over the next two years because he took a big chunk of this contract in guaranteed money up front. That was a risk the team took. The risk for MJD was that he might out-perform the deal, which he has.

    That said, I don’t expect them to extend the deal this year. Next year is a different story. And I fully expect MJD to hold out through training camp and the first few preseason games. I won’t sweat it until the regular season is upon us and #32 is not in the backfield.

  15. waussau says: Jun 21, 2012 8:07 AM

    If it weren’t for MJD, nobody would know this team even existed.

    That being said, be a man… Honor your contract, the one you signed and agreed to.

  16. charlutes says: Jun 21, 2012 8:08 AM

    The business side of the NFL is a joke on the players.

  17. truthfactory says: Jun 21, 2012 8:13 AM

    Sorry, but he has no leverage at all. He wantedd the long term deal last time and he got it, so quit complaining… What do the Jags care if he’s there or not?

    If he plays this year, they will probably be 4-12… If he doesnt they’ll probably be 3-13. Big deal….

  18. KIR says: Jun 21, 2012 8:27 AM

    He should walkout right before the third preseason game. It puts more pressure on the team and he losses less money. All of these he signed a contract talkers are hypocrites they never comment on post where a player WITH a contract is cut by the team.

  19. jikkle49 says: Jun 21, 2012 8:38 AM

    This one is a tough one because I think both sides have valid arguments.

    Considering the way the rate RBs are discarded once the tires start to fall off I don’t blame MJD for trying to maximize his value while it’s still there.

    Not to mention in the NFL you could be cut at anytime so why expect to hold the player accountable to their contract but not the team.

    On the flip side I understand the Jaguars side of things. MJD is not on his rookie contract and the Jags already took care of him with another contract recently. Also there is a lot of miles on that ride so I probably wouldn’t want to invest long term either if I’m the Jags.

    If you thought you were going to outperform your contract than why did you agree to it in the first place MJD? Why not agree to a shorter deal? Of course the answer is a longer deal means more guaranteed money and you get the keep that if you don’t outperform your contract or injured through it. That’s the gamble you take when you sign a contract.

    MJD has two years left on his deal so I think he should at least play out one more year before demanding another new contract. If he was still on rookie deal I would be more sympathetic.

  20. davidjcu says: Jun 21, 2012 8:48 AM

    Pay the man. He has outperformed his contract. Teams front load contracts, just in case players under perform or get hurt they aren’t a burden. But this guy is the face of the franchise. He is one of the few handful of every down backs in the NFL. This whole honoring your contract thing is ridiculous. If you do well at your job, you get a raise. How would you like your job if they paid you like an athlete with money up front, and front ended contracts, so that years into your contract you make less than you made when you started despite performing well.

  21. LoCoSu@%s says: Jun 21, 2012 8:56 AM

    There really needs to be a better way for NFL teams to compensate it’s players and not kill their salary cap.
    Maybe a end of season bonus related to performance but only a percentage of it tied to the cap?
    It is not an easy answer but owners today hide behind the salary cap to avoid paying their players.

    Create a system that is fairer to ones that produce and not one that pays for promise.

  22. deadeyedesign23 says: Jun 21, 2012 9:08 AM

    “The Jaguars think he should honor his contract, and it’s hard to argue with that.”

    No it’s not. The Jaguars should have to honor his contract too, but if they wanted to cut him tomorrow they can and will.

    Mojo should get every dime he can get and if he can get one more dime next year he should do it again. If teams don’t like it they should guarantee contracts.

  23. shackdelrio says: Jun 21, 2012 9:21 AM

    The Jags hold all the cards. They don’t need to do anything. I think we’ll see Jones-Drew miss training camp but he’ll be back when the game checks start getting printed.

  24. eagleswin says: Jun 21, 2012 9:33 AM

    davidjcu says:
    Jun 21, 2012 8:48 AM
    Pay the man. He has outperformed his contract. Teams front load contracts, just in case players under perform or get hurt they aren’t a burden.

    ————————————-

    Uh, no. Frontloading contracts benefits the players. Take Revis for example. He got $30 mill over the first 2 years and is set to get $10 mill over the last 2 (the numbers may not be totally accurate). Now that he’s gotten the bulk of his money (in the FRONT half of the contract), he wants to hold out again. Lance Briggs was the same way.

    The Jets paid revis a 4 year contract that averaged $10mill/yr but but he views himself as a $15 mill/yr cornerback who had 2 dummy years on his contract. No cornerback is worth $15 mill/yr.

  25. jaxcliff says: Jun 21, 2012 9:37 AM

    First of all, the Jaguars *are* honoring the contract if they cut him. That’s *part* of the contract. If MJD wanted a no-cut contract, he should have negotiated one.

    Second, MJD *didn’t* outperform his current contract. Remember, at the time he was *not* the featured, every-down back and the Jaguars still paid him like one, taking the chance that he couldn’t handle the load.

  26. ji536994 says: Jun 21, 2012 10:00 AM

    “No it’s not. The Jaguars should have to honor his contract too, but if they wanted to cut him tomorrow they can and will.

    Mojo should get every dime he can get and if he can get one more dime next year he should do it again. If teams don’t like it they should guarantee contracts.”

    Actually, the contracts are written with the allowed provision to “cut” players, and not owe them non-gaurnteed money. The language is in the contract and the players understand it at signing.

    Holding out, would be the equivalent of a team refusing to pay guaranteed money. Imagine the firestorm that would occur if teams started doing that.

  27. granadafan says: Jun 21, 2012 11:56 AM

    Sorry, I love MJD and his class, but he’s wrong on this issue. He desperately wanted the long term security and happily signed his long term contract that pays him 6.3 million per year over the term. It’s only been two years when the front loaded is done and he’s already complaining that others have surpassed him in pay. Sorry, it’s called market conditions.

    Can’t stand not being near the highest paid? Don’t sign long term. No sympathy.

  28. jagswag72 says: Jun 21, 2012 12:33 PM

    Yeah, the owners can rip up a contract whenever they want because the NFLPA and the owners BARGAINED for that ability. If the players don’t like the one-sided ability of teams to rip up a contract, don’t agree to it in your CBA.

  29. tialen says: Jun 21, 2012 12:54 PM

    Teams have no problems cutting players regardless of contract, players should have no problems holding out when they outplay their contracts.

    Good for him.

  30. coltsluckdynasty says: Jun 21, 2012 1:43 PM

    Yeah, leads the league in getting caught from behind? Seriously? The guy has to dance around like a madman, because he makes his own holes. A defender that is running from the other side of the field at full speed might get an angle on him. Because he left the other 10 players on the field with broken ankles. I wish this guy was the colts running back, im sure there are about 27 other teams that would take this guy in a minute!! Come on mustache man, make your good first move. Bump his pay for 2 years, call it a day. Sit back and be pissed that in a year, Luck and the colts will be back to dominating the South for another 14 years. Man it’s tough being a colts fan, go from hall of famer to hall of famer…. We will forget about the other 17 years of being horrible…

  31. thetwilightsown says: Jun 21, 2012 3:44 PM

    How many times has a running back held out for a better contract then come in and actually performed – or more, performed injury-free?
    Can’t remember the last person to pull this off. What usually happens is: The player holds out, gets his deal or realizes he’s gonna start losing real money and comes back, out of football shape and gets hurt. CJ2K(?)

    Counting down the days till when NFL teams start holding out salaries because players didn’t meet goals.
    Think it won’t happen? Once more, with feeling: today the average Master’s degree recipient makes less over his entire lifetime than the average NFL player does in ONE YEAR, given that information 20 years ago, would you have ever thought a person playing a game for a living would hold out for more money, even after signing an extension – as a non-featured back – for 31 million dollars with a signing bonus of 17.5 million? Sounds ridiculous, right?

    These guys learned nothing from the lock out. Maybe some kid in the Jax area will send him $3.36 cents so he can see his favorite player on the field a la Brandon Jacobs’ biggest fan. Or… MAYBE HE’LL JUST SHOW UP AND PLAY FOOTBALL.

  32. covercorner says: Jun 21, 2012 7:23 PM

    Did the Jaguars honor Aaron Kampman’s contract?

  33. joetoronto says: Jun 22, 2012 6:17 AM

    shackdelrio says: Jun 21, 2012 9:21 AM

    The Jags hold all the cards. They don’t need to do anything. I think we’ll see Jones-Drew miss training camp but he’ll be back when the game checks start getting printed.
    *************************************************
    Oh ya, “The Jags hold all the cards.”

    If he holds out, the Jags will have to rent more tarps, allot more..

    Think about THAT for a second.

  34. jaxcliff says: Jun 22, 2012 4:06 PM

    “Did the Jaguars honor Aaron Kampman’s contract?”

    Yes, they did. The contract allows them to cut him and yet he gets to keep all the up-front bonus money and the pay for all the games he didn’t play due to injury. THE ABILITY TO CUT A PLAYER IS IN THE CONTRACT!!!

  35. deadeyedesign23 says: Jun 22, 2012 11:44 PM

    jaxcliff says:
    Jun 22, 2012 4:06 PM
    “Did the Jaguars honor Aaron Kampman’s contract?”

    Yes, they did. The contract allows them to cut him and yet he gets to keep all the up-front bonus money and the pay for all the games he didn’t play due to injury. THE ABILITY TO CUT A PLAYER IS IN THE CONTRACT!!!

    ————————————————————-
    Because the NFL is allowed to operate a a monopoly. If a person wants to be a professional football player in this country he has to play in the NFL and that means they have submit to bull**** hypocrisy like this.

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