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.