With Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wanting a new deal and Jaguars owner Shahid Khan flatly refusing to give it to him, the impasse will be resolved only if someone blinks.
Unless the Jaguars are willing to trade him.
In the 24 hours or so since news broke of Jones-Drew’s willingness to consider being traded, the Jaguars have not publicly declared that they won’t trade him. (So much for the idiot who predicted that Khan would say, “No way.”) Instead, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Jaguars are receiving calls from potentially interested teams.
This is either coming from the Jaguars or the teams that have been calling. Either way, neither the Jaguars have added “they’re wasting their time” nor have the teams added “the Jaguars said we’re wasting out time.”
Which means that the door on a trade has not been closed.
It’s the only way for the two sides to save face and secure what can be painted as a victory, if a new team is willing: (1) to give the Jaguars what they want in trade; and (2) to pay Jones-Drew what he wants to be paid.
The most obvious — and intriguing — trade partner plays in Atlanta, where former Jags offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is now running the offense. Though the Jags may not be interested in a package that would include, say, running back Michael Turner and more, bringing Jones-Drew to the Falcons would allow the team to go younger at the starting tailback position. It also would kick the attack to a potentially higher level.
Beyond the Falcons, teams that believe they’re a strong running back away from becoming serious contenders would be prime candidates, especially if the coach and/or G.M. know that the team needs to seriously contend in 2012, or they may not be there in 2013.
At the top of our list would be the Chargers, whose head coach and G.M. have drifted firmly into “win now or go home” territory, and whose supposed workhorse tailback already has a broken collarbone.
We’ve got a feeling that the California native who played at UCLA and has expressed an interest to play professionally in Los Angeles would have no objection to that — and he possibly would take less than he otherwise wants in order to make it happen.
Meanwhile, the fact that Jones-Drew has run into a brick wall when it comes to getting a new contract from the Jaguars suggests that Jones-Drew underestimated the will of the team’s new owner. For more on that, we ask that you muster the will to click the box below.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!