Maurice Jones-Drew ends holdout, returns to Jaguars

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Jones-Drew finally caved and returned to the Jags on Sunday. (AP)

On the last Sunday without NFL football until February (!), Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his holdout and returned to his team.

More on Jones-Drew holdout

There was plenty of speculation on Saturday evening about whether or not the 2011 NFL rushing leader would join the team, with many folks expecting him to come back to Jacksonville. He did that and said that he doesn't believe he's a "diva."

"It was my decision the whole day," MJD said Sunday at his press conference.

The news was confirmed when fellow running back (and would-be fantasy-football superstar) Rashad Jennings tweeted that he "shared some love" with MJD in the Jaguars locker room.

So what now? Well, we'll get to find out two things about the new Jaguars regime. One, will they let the fines that MJD accumulated go? Surely they can't let all of the approximately $1 million that he accumulated over his 38 days go. And it didn't sound like either Mike Mularkey or Gene Smith were that thrilled about having him back.

"I had a really good visit this morning with Maurice and I welcomed him in," Mularkey said. "It was good to finally speak face-to-face. I can tell he's ready to go, so we'll be working with him to get him up to speed as quickly as possible."

Smith was a little more enthusiastic but that might be because he's, you know, actually met MJD before.

'It's great to have Maurice back in the building.We're glad to now have everyone in and working as a team to win'

So will Jones-Drew start in Week 1? As of Saturday, he'd never even met Mularkey in person, so it's slightly doubtful that he's fully acclimated to Mularkey's offense. The team might want to send a message to MJD by starting Jennings.

MJD sent his own "message" with his return today as well: he doesn't want to miss pay checks. Jones-Drew showing back up Sunday means he'll still collect 17 regular-season paychecks and that constitutes the majority of his salary for 2012, which is primarily base salary.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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