Running back Jones-Drew ends holdout, reports to Jaguars
Jacksonville, FL, United States (4E Sports) – After 38 days, NFL rushing champion Maurice Jones-Drew ended his holdout and reported to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, without a renegotiated contract that he covets.
“I’m game ready now,” said Jones-Drew after reporting to the team.
The running back forfeited a $50,000 workout bonus and coach Mike Mularkey has not indicated if he will forgive the $1.2 million potential fines for missing mandatory minicamp and all of training camp.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Jaguars hold the right to fine Jones-Drew $30,000 for each day of camp he missed.
After leading the NFL in rushing last season with 1,606 yards, Jones-Drew held out to force the Jaguars to renegotiate the five-year, $30.95 million deal he signed in 2009, including guaranteed money worth $17 million.
The Jaguars, however, stood pat in its position not to renegotiate the deal that will pay Jones-Drew $4.45 million this year and $4.95 million next year.
Jones-Drew’s contract paled in comparison with the contracts signed by other running backs in past two years. Last year, Adrian Peterson signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings, with $30 million guaranteed.
Chris Johnson also inked a four-year contract worth $53.5 million with the Tennessee Titans, with $30 million guaranteed while LeSean McCoy has a five-year deal amounting to $45.6 million and $20.8 million guaranteed money.
Arian Foster received a five-year, $43.5 million deal from the Houston Texans while the Chicago Bears signed Matt Forte to a four-year, $32 million contract with $18 million guaranteed this year.
Jones-Drew’s return proved timely as the Jaguars received an exception to put him on the 53-man roster for Week 1, making his $4.45 million base salary fully guaranteed.
The running back, however, is not expected to play in the opener against the Minnesota Vikings because he is not in football shape. Reports have it that running back Rashad Jennings will start for the Jaguars because of his strong preseason (209 yards on 47 attempts).
In his career, Jones-Drew has 6,854 yards rushing, 2,473 yards receiving and 74 total touchdowns. He carried a career-high 343 times last season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.