Low profile benefits Jags in Jones-Drew holdout

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As the holdout of the NFL’s rushing champ approaches three weeks, the official T-shirt slogan for the effort should be:  Jones-Drew Who?

Having a low national profile in what ultimately is an entertainment industry ordinarily is a bad thing.  The Jacksonville Jaguars benefit from it this time around, as it relates to the standoff with their star tailback.

Think about it for a second.  The guy who ran for more yards than any other player in 2011, for an offense with no discernible passing game, has gotten scant notice for the fact that he hasn’t shown up for training camp, even though he’s under contract for two more years.

If Jones-Drew played for almost any other team (with the exception of a small handful that we won’t list because I really don’t need to have my inbox clogged with email from their thousands hundreds dozens of fans), this would be a much bigger deal.  If  the Jaguars had been the subject of this year’s Hard Knocks, it would be a huge deal.  If he played for one of the franchise located in the northeast portion of the I-95 Corridor, it would be the lead story on every national sports show, radio and TV.  [Editor’s note:  I had to add “northeast” because Jaguars fans who could find nothing else in the article to complain about felt compelled to point out that I-95 goes through Jacksonville.  I meant the stretch of I-95 that runs from Washington to Boston.]

This all helps the Jaguars.  They face little or no criticism.  Instead (and as MDS pointed out in today’s one-liners), the Jags are firming up the depth chart for when they start the regular season without him.

Hell, coach Mike Mularkey is even saying that Jones-Drew won’t automatically be put on the field when he returns.  “Even if he is in good condition,” Mularky said, “he won’t be in football condition.  As guys have found out, it’s hard to practice their condition 2- 1/2 hours like we do out here.”

Making it even worse for Jones-Drew is that the normally loquacious tailback has kept quiet.  Though it’s the smart approach when others are talking about the situation, Jones-Drew’s silence is contributing to the vacuum.

If, after all, Jones-Drew were talking, there would at least be a reason for the talking heads to talk about him.

For now, then, the advantage remains with the Jaguars.  At a time when both sides have staked out positions that leave no middle ground, there’s Jags feel no external pressure to blink.  Which means that there’s plenty of internal pressure on Jones-Drew — especially since he’s racking up $30,000 per day in fines.

48 responses to “Low profile benefits Jags in Jones-Drew holdout

  1. When are they gonna just trade the guy? The Packers or Patriots could really use him and he’d be a bargain for a 1st round pick. Hope the Jags are burning up the phone lines.

  2. Yes, they are lucky that they play football in a college football state…they’re also lucky that their team sucks as well. On this team, MJD won’t even get them to .500 so in a business situation then why would you pay for that? A major rebuild is happening in Jacksonville, so just trade this guy and get a few high picks in return to help with that. A lot of teams could use a top 5 RB…just not the Jags.

  3. How could the pressure have ever been on the jags?

    He’s not the difference between playoffs and last in the afc south (and close to the bottom of the league).

    Him being there clearly doesnt guarantee a sellout every week (even though there have been no blackouts recently thanks to sponsors buying tix on the cheap).

    And he has 2 years left on his contract, so jones-drew is stuck with what he has. Great player, but munsoned in jacksonville with gabbert for at least the near future.

  4. (with the exception of a small handful that we won’t list because I really don’t need to have my inbox clogged with email from their thousands hundreds dozens of fans..
    You sir, are awesome.

    I don’t think it even matters if MJD is there or not. With that QB and HC, Jacksonville might as well get used to last place brother.

  5. I don’t see how you can write the we face little to no criticism, hell every day you have some paragraph where you and the rest of the haters say something about the Jaguars.

  6. Who decides who is a low profile team….that’s right the media decides. The Jags would have to win 5 Super Bowls in a row before they get nearly the coverage of some other mediocre teams such as the Jets or the Cowboys. The talking heads are just choosing to low profile MJD and the Jaguars because that’s what they do.

  7. The Jag-hater comedians are here! Great!

    If this is such a low-profile team that stinks, why do you no-Jag fans bother to look much less comment on Jag stories?

  8. Pretty sure the best RB in football will bring value… Jags front office should recognize that moving MJD could be the key to a better future. Right now both sides are losing out

  9. With MJD they are a last place team. How can it get any worse if they trade him for a few first rounders or some package of draft picks. They are a young team as it is now mine as well stock up and play for 2 or 3 years from now. MJD does not make them a contender. They just have to many holes to fill.

  10. Or perhaps it’s not news because most people side with the team – and not the player. I’m a Jags fan, but he needs to play out at least one more year of the deal he was given before he earned it.

    People forget that he was paid as a top 3 RB when he got that deal even though he’d never been ‘the guy’.

    People also forget that he basically won the rushing title by default. If you look back during the season, he wasn’t keeping pace with other backs (Fred Jackson, LeSean McCoy) until they got hurt and he then passed them. Don’t get me wrong, his yardage is super impressive, but he did get more and more carries due to the lack of passing game.

    Moving on to this year, there will be a much improved (contrary to what you may read on this site) passing game and the run emphasis will not be as great.

    From a fan’s perspective, this hold out is selfish, unnecessary (4.5 million isn’t like he’s on a rookie deal making the minimum), and basically a non-story because the Jags are in the right. MJD is a warrior and I look forward to him returning to the team, but he’s wrong in this. It’s that simple and that’s why it’s a non-factor.

  11. arty5 says:
    Aug 15, 2012 10:30 AM
    They’re being ignored because they’re a bad team… and this is ‘good’?
    The Jags aren’t just really bad, they’re as small a market team as you’re gonna find.

    It’s like they don’t exist at all.

    They ARE good to rag on though, that’s for sure.

  12. He’ll be back just before the regular season starts, having avoided weeks of grueling camp and possible injury. The Jags will forgive the fines, and the fans will cheer for him just as loudly during the season. This is the way it always works in these cases.

  13. Jaguar fans understand football. We are for the team on this one. We want MJD to honor his contract, if not, so what. We went 5-11 with the league leading rusher, does it matter? We know we are rebuilding and the league has become basketball on grass. Running doesn’t win championships anymore. So it’s up to MJD, either he can come in a make 4.91 million doing something he loves and renegotiate next year or he can lose out on a year of stats that may put him in the HOF. It’s his choice.

  14. Mike Florio says:Aug 15, 2012 11:02 AM

    That’s not the I-95 Corridor.


    According to whom? According to the “official website of the I-95 Corridor Coalition”, it is. If you are specifically referring to the Northeast corridor, you may want to specify as such.

  15. Once again, the armchair experts demonstrate a total lack of knowledge about basic NFL stuff. I’ll pass on the “last place” and “loser” comments, since we get that every day.

    Anyone who believes the Jaguars would even consider a trade is nuts. If Jacksonville did trade him away, the contract goes with him and what would be the motivation to give a 27-year-old running back in his 7th year anymore money than he’s already getting from the Jaguars? There’s really no value for either side in a trade.

    You can’t compare his deal to Johnson’s or Peterson’s because the consensus among actual football people is that those two guys got way too much in their deals anyway.

    And with the amount of work MJD has been forced to do in recent seasons, you can’t assume that he’s continue to hold up. As it was, he’s had knee issues in past seasons. And since no team would be required to write him a new deal, why would they?

    As for picks, what would Jacksonville get for him? Maybe a third round pick, at best. As good as he’s been, he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning. This is a passing league now. Unless a guy is a real beast at the position, how many running backs go high in the draft? This year, one. The next two went at 31 and 32. There are a lot of good backs that can be drafted in later rounds these days. Even MJD didn’t go until the end of round two in 2006.

    This isn’t a knock on the guy’s talent, and Jacksonville wants him back, both the team and the fans. But the reality of things is they’re going to be a better team all around this season in all areas, and his backup looked really good Friday night. They’re moving on for now, and if he wants to play, he needs to stop watching his money go out the window in fines and get back to work. All will be forgiven.

  16. Here is the problem for MJD. Everyone knows he’s a “little” running back that has played out of his mind for several years now. This endurance he has shown will eventually turn into a player who is on the wrong side of 30 and physically beat up. Any franchise with a bit of common sense would realize this and not give him a huge new contract at this point in his career. The Jags have made a lot of mistakes over the years but one they are not making is paying huge money that will, quite honestly, be wasted once MJD falls off the cliff all running backs eventually do.

    And also consider this. MJD’s leverage is very low for another reason. The Jags went 5-11 with him at his BEST last year and haven’t done anything to significantly improve their team. They can probably win at LEAST four games without MJD and who cares if it’s 4 or 5? All that means is no shot at the playoffs and a draft pick somewhere between 2 and 10. MJD has no leverage because his presence alone does not make his team a contender.

  17. MJD has no leverage and no end game. If ANY team wants to pony up a 1st rounder (as some have implied), Gene Smith would pounce on it. I promise. It is about as likely as MJD getting a new deal.

    Keep hating. We’re used to it. Easy target and all. Hope you like the taste of crow. This team is not nearly as bad as you would make us out to be. But you’ll find that out soon enough.

  18. The Jacksonville Jaguars? Sure, they’re an easy target. But man, are they fun to pile on. (Is it because their fans think so highly of themselves when they have absolutely no reason to?)

  19. So in his mind it is ok to call out Cutler as a quitter when he was legitimately hurt and couldn’t play, but he can quit on his whole team with no injury while he’s still under contract and that’s fine? Hypocrite

  20. If this were a Barry Sanders type story, and MJD was holding out and demanding a trade because he couldn’t stand the fact that the team was doing nothing to try and win, I’d feel sorry for him. But he’s not.

    It’s all about $$$ and he has two years left on his contract so if the Jags feel they can get the job done without him, more power to them.

    Of course, even if he were Barry Sanders, the Jags aren’t winning anything anytime soon.

  21. i like the Jags, Fred Taylor was one of my favorite players. I root for small markets. I don’t follow them closely so I’m having a hard time understanding the optimism for them this season. I would love to see them in the post-season, but I would be shocked if they even sniff it. Here’s to hoping I eat crow come January.

  22. For those of you saying deal him for a 1st or a couple of 1sts (ha!) I have to ask why would a team deal a first round pick for a guy with that much mileage who is demanding a raise? It’s considered risky to draft a RB in the 1st who has young legs and makes far less thanks to the new CBA.

    To the Jag fans who are complaining about the amount of coverage you get, please stop. The media and everyone else will pay you more attention when you win. Remember 96 with a young Brunell and the AFC championship game appearance? Think there was an SI cover in there for you and you were media darlings. Nobody hates on you because you play in a small market. Get everyone’s attention with W’s and the problem is solved.

    As for MJD, it does hurt him that he plays for a bad team. I think the Jets going 8-8 last year hurt Revis’s leverage when they were talking about a possible holdout. When you come off a year where you went to a championship game, the agent says you won’t get back there without my client. When you’re unsuccessful, like my head baseball coach says, “We can lose with you or we can lose without you.”

  23. joe.attaboy says:
    Aug 15, 2012 11:15 AM

    Anyone who believes the Jaguars would even consider a trade is nuts. If Jacksonville did trade him away, the contract goes with him and what would be the motivation to give a 27-year-old running back in his 7th year anymore money than he’s already getting from the Jaguars? There’s really no value for either side in a trade.
    You’re assuming that he’d want more money from another team too, Joe.

    I wouldn’t doubt he’d take the same money and go to a winner.

  24. Or maybe people are realizing that a running back has been hugely devalued in the modern NFL. And the offense with Rashad Jennings at running back looked fine without MJD.

    Those two factors are what are playing in the Jaguars favor.

    The fact that it isn’t even a big story in Jacksonville is telling.

  25. honestly, good on the team and mjd for keeping quiet. just keep it in house or dont talk about it at all.

    in the end it will work out better for everyone.

  26. I am a Steeler fan and Ive been to Jax before on various trips. I have to say because they are a small market team matters to noone in that city, I have to admit I felt I was in a smaller version of Pittsburgh with the passion and excitement these fans in Jax have for thier team. People like to rag and beat on the little guy because they are scared and weak themselves. The media chooses who they like to brown nose because they are plain and simple …..Kiss A@*’S! But to be in that city and see and hear that the Jags fans could give a rats butt hole about who thinks anything about them and thier team. To me thats what TEAM means,Players,coaches,Ownership and most importantly the FANS Standing by each other and going into to battle against the mean part of people world! I forsee Jax Jags supriseing alot of HATERS and this includes THE MEDIA HATERSand Post Trolls. Remember they beat the hell outta alot of good and great teams in the past and nobody since the 72 Dolphins have been perfect. Keep hammering back Jags fans, Haters are gonna hate……..Its all they know how to be. I say Jags make the playoffs this year with or with MJD. They are the darkhorse with an attitude and I can wait to see/here all the haters jump on thier bandwagon!

  27. You really gotta love the blanket term “the haters”.
    As far as I can tell what it really means is anyone who doesn’t think that the user of the terms team is going be the best team in the league and absolutely destroy the competition.
    In fact I gather that I’m a “hater” because I don’t think the Packers are going to win the Super Bowl. This is just one example.

  28. He’s trying to do the right thing by staying out of the media (hasn’t tweeted in awhile)

    And although his contract was front loaded (avg $7mil per 1st 3 years)… he outplayed it.

    The Jags don’t care b/c they are mediocre (6-10) with him, & w/o him they get a shot @ #1 overall pick (i.e. Colts sans Peyton last year)

    He should have his agent/pr guy issue a well-thoughtout statement explaining why he thinks he should be fairly compensated as 4-5 mil for his services are an insult.

    Or ask for a trade to the Patriots, Lions, Colts, or Steelers.

  29. Honestly, if you speak to rank and file Jags fans, they care less and less that MJD is not here. We are genuinely excited about our prospects this year, with or without him.

  30. cjaguar says: Aug 15, 2012 10:48 AM

    The Jag-hater comedians are here! Great!

    If this is such a low-profile team that stinks, why do you no-Jag fans bother to look much less comment on Jag stories?

    Pointing out the repetitive flaws of a poorly-run franchise isn’t “hating” any more than pointing out the successes of a well-run franchise is “jumping on the bandwagon”. The Jags routinely screw up when it comes to personnel (RJ Soward,Leftwich,R. Williams, M. Jones,R. Nelson,D. Harvey,Gabbert) and that’s just 1st round screwups! This has led to a pathetic .475 win percentage in the last decade(only 3 winning seasons) It’s not hate;it’s truth.

  31. raqaiw says:Pointing out the repetitive flaws of a poorly-run franchise isn’t “hating”

    But here’s the thing. It’s time to stop doing that. The culture has almost completely changed since last year. A new owner, president, coach and other improvements mean you can stop beating your poor dead horse. It may take some time, but the franchise has a chance to move forward. As for being low profile, winning will help of course, but ESPN and even NFL network need to make sure that all 32 teams are fairly represented when covering the NFL. Some teams are naturally more interesting because of their worth (eg Steelers, Patriots, Giants), but others are given too much spotlight for reasons I can only guess. (hype, money etc)It’s shameless.

  32. It cracks me up when people write that they could trade MJD for a 1st round pick or a “couple of first round picks”. Too funny.

    NFL Running backs are easy to come by. Are they as good as MJD? Likely not. But the tradeoff for losing a 1st round pick is not there.

    He could draw a 2nd round pick.

    Besides, what team wants to give up a high draft choice and in return gain a malcontent that does not honor a contract that he signed. Give back your signing bonus MJD, and then maybe someone will take you seriously and, admire your word and honor. Without that, you are not worth the headache

  33. emma333 says: Aug 15, 2012 3:38 PM

    But here’s the thing. It’s time to stop doing that. The culture has almost completely changed since last year. A new owner, president, coach and other improvements mean you can stop beating your poor dead horse. It may take some time, but the franchise has a chance to move forward

    The Bills said they were “changing the culture when they hired Jauron,same with the Rams and Spagnolou,Browns and Channel,Mangini,AND Murmur,Chiefs with Haley,etc.
    Until the culture actually IS changed and you start winning games,it appears to just be lip service which fans have heard 1000 times before. Consider that the new owner/GM/HC started off their tenure doing the same thing the last group did: drafting a WR with “issues”. Will Blackman be boom or bust? Nobody knows,but the beginning of his story looks a lot like the beginning of Del Rio’s,and we ALL know how that turned out.

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