Jags, Jones-Drew draw battle lines

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There’s not much middle ground between the Jaguars and running back Maurice Jones-Drew.  He wants a new contract, and owner Shad Khan says Jones-Drew isn’t getting one.  To get Jones-Drew into camp, someone will have to blink.

We’ve seen this movie before.  The two sides seem to be completely dug in.  And then there are two possible endings.   The player tucks tail ‘twixt the hamstrings and shows up — or the owner, G.M., or head coach decide that he’s had enough and just wants the player back.

The primary question is when will that happen?  The secondary question is whether there will be an effort (successful or otherwise) to save face.  For example, Khan could adjust the two remaining years on Jones-Drew’s current deal and claim that the player didn’t actually get a new contract.  For example, Jones-Drew could be given most of the remaining cash on his contract ($4.45 million in 2012, $4.95 million in 2012) this year, the minimum salary next year, and language that voids the contract if he reaches certain performance levels in the coming season.

That way, he’d get more money now, and potentially become a free agent in March.

Regardless, we’re no longer buying the “honor your contract” argument.  This isn’t a normal contract.  The same system that lets the teams tear up contracts whenever they want also allows the players to take the calculated risk of holding out.  If, after all, the NFL didn’t want players to have the ability to “violate” their contracts, the labor deal would contain a term that, for example, prevents the player from playing for any team in a given year if he doesn’t report to training camp on time.

Yes, the current system lets teams break contracts without repercussion.  And it also lets players hold out, if they’re willing to pay daily fines of $30,000 and to refund specific bonus payments that are subject to forfeiture.  Any player willing to assume that risk should be allowed to do so.  If he guesses right regarding his value to the team, he may get what he wants, or at least something close to it.

The owners, of course, don’t have to give in.  And it wouldn’t surprise us if the folks at 345 Park Avenue are urging Khan to hold firm.  It also wouldn’t surprise us if Khan, with still-fresh feeling of gratitude to 345 Park Avenue for letting him into the club, is willing to take one for the 32-member team that doesn’t like it when players take advantage of their ability to get more by holding out.

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20 responses to “Jags, Jones-Drew draw battle lines

  1. Khan’s comments are a negotiating ploy, not an actual stance. If he can convince MJD that there’s no way he’ll get any more money, then MJD will report. If he can’t convince him of that, then there’s a good chance they’ll work something out. I think the “where do you draw the line?” comment in regards to contracts is silly but I think Khan knows that he can draw the line at All-Pro guys and the team will be just fine going forward, the other 50 guys aren’t gonna hold out cause MJD did.

  2. Why not hold firm? It isn’t like they were going to make the playoffs or sell out their home games anyway.

  3. I’m tired of the trope about contracts being one-way streets because the team can cut players at any time.

    Everyone here who is still going to get paid even if they’re bad enough at their job to get fired, raise your hand.

    Everyone who didn’t raise your hand who thinks they are ethically entitled to sit out of work because they want more money, raise your hand.

    Thought so.

  4. Regardless, we’re no longer buying the “honor your contract” argument. This isn’t a normal contract.

    I completely disagree. He signed it. It’s millions of dollars. Report to camp. Do your job, and let your agent handle a new contract.

  5. The ability to cut players early is the tradeoff for giving the player a huge signing bonus. For a four year extension, he received more than half of it up front, without playing at all. If he were to get cut with two years remaining, he still keeps that signing bonus.

  6. thegreatgabbert says:
    Jul 26, 2012 5:47 PM
    I think everyone overlooking the fact that the Jags don’t lose much on the field going from Mo to Rashad Jennings. That is what will drive the narrative.


    I hope this is a joke.

  7. Realistically, Khan has MoJo by his balls!!

    Are RB’s a dime a dozen in today’s NFL? Absolutely.
    Is MoJo included in that category? Absolutely NOT..

    By all means, MoJo is not easily replaceable, but the more he goes on about this nonsense, he’s only creating a cancerous atmosphere that this team can clearly move on & away from (we can do just as bad minus the leading rusher, if not better than a 5-11 record with or without MJD). He was overshadowed & played under the wings of the legendary -Freddy T- before signing an extension. Some people bashed the Jags & the rest questioned them for paying a hefty price for an unproven back; yet the organization knew what they were doing, they knew what they had in MJD. He signs the contract which was “front-loaded” people (top 5 RB money at that time), paying the man a little less than $30 mill in his first couple seasons. Who does that to an unproven player? The Jags certainly did, & respectfully so, there are no losers in this situation MJD has created. MJD is trying to get the absolute most from a new atmosphere in JagNation, including a rookie Owner (Shahid Khan), who stated clearly he wasn’t budging.

    Message to MoJo:
    RB Rashaad Jennings is just as capable of moving them chains, & you know he’s loving every bit of this. Don’t dispute the fact with the team, dispute it with your agent you so happily relied on at the time of signing. I’m certain he would tell you the same thing: “You signed it KNOWING you would make alot less down the future. Well Maurice, welcome to the future, there’s not much more I can do for you.”

    Jaguars = Lotts of Leverage
    MoJo = No Leverage

  8. Tell me this guy doesn’t look just like Jerry Collona..”Grrreetings Gates, Let’s Scalpatate!!!” (old cartoon reference).

  9. To the man who said the jags don’t lose much goin from mojo to Jennings.. You are truly lost.. Especially if you truly believe that gabbert is anything close to great

  10. Lets get it straight, Drew is NOT a dime a dozen RB, he just isn’t.

    He’s a top tier RB in his prime, who happens to be the only star player on the Jags, who can’t sell out WHEN DREW IS THERE.

    This is a problem for the Jags, make no mistake about it.

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