On yesterdays NFL Live, ESPN’s Adam Schefter mentioned that Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew‘s could end up holding out for a lengthy period of time.
“This looks like it’s not going to end anytime soon,” Schefter said. “… This is gonna play out into and beyond training camp.”
While Jones-Drew clearly feels that he’s outplayed his five-year, $30.95 million contract, the team has said that they’re not willing to even discuss a new contract for star running back. He’ll make $4.45 million for the upcoming season, so you can see that’s at least somewhat underpaid, considering how effective he’s been in league.
The problem for Jones-Drew is that team’s aren’t paying you for what you’ve done in the past, but instead, what you’ll be able to do in the future. He’s currently 27 year’s old and with the declining value of the running back position, this could very well be his last opportunity to secure a solid contract.
“I would expect him to be here this week, but that’s ultimately his decision,” said GM Gene Smith. “It’s a mandatory veteran camp for the players that are under contract. I expect all our players under contract to be here, though.”
If Jones-Drew decides to skip out of the mandatory minicamp it may be a real indicator that he is very serious about holding out for a new contract.
“He has expressed that he would like to renegotiate and we have expressed, again, that we feel he has a contract with two years left and we expect him to fulfill those obligations,” Smith said, via the Florida Times Union.
Jones-Drew, 27, is set to make $4.45 million for the upcoming season, so this is obviously an attempt to secure a better contract while he still has some value to the team. Jacksonville can fine him if he chooses to holdout of the team’s mandatory minicamp that starts this week.
This has become a pretty common technique for running backs in recent years, as the value of the position has been dramatically devalued. Jones-Drew is probably deserving of a better salary, but that doesn’t mean that the market or the Jaguars would offer him such a deal.