Friday, June 28, 2013
By Tim Kavanagh
For the entirety of his seven-year NFL career, Maurice Jones-Drew has plied his trade for the Jacksonville Jaguars, becoming a franchise icon of sorts. But, he's also entering the final season on his current contract.
Thus far, there hasn't been any buzz that the Jags are interested in extending MJD's time with the team beyond 2013, and this is a rational development: the RB missed a huge chunk of time in 2012 owing to a foot injury, and there's no certainty that he'll be back to his old self following the rehabilitation.
"Jones-Drew enters his eighth NFL season, which is not young for a running back," John Oehser of Jaguars.com writes. "In fact, in NFL running back years, it's pretty darned old. He also missed 10 games last season with a significant foot injury and had microfracture knee surgery following the 2010 season. There is little doubt what Jones-Drew has been able to do in his NFL career. There is little doubt what he has meant to this organization. What the Jaguars need to see -- and what any team with a eighth-year running back entering the final year of his contract logically would want to see -- is what they think he will be in the future. That's what makes this a very important year for Jones-Drew."
The Jags went through an array of RBs following MJD's injury last year; this year, they'll have their choice of Justin Forsett, Jordan Todman and fifth-round pick Denard Robinson (who has been designated as "OW," or offensive weapon). If the early returns aren't good on MJD, they may also add a veteran free agent, and have already had Beanie Wells in for a visit.
Looking ahead to next offseason, Jones-Drew may find himself out looking for a new team, as the Jags move on to a younger back to be their next lead option.