Shad Khan makes it clear that MJD will not receive a new contract
While the news isn't surprising, Jaguars owner Shad Khan came right out Wednesday and declared that running back Maurice Jones-Drew absolutely, positively, assuredly will NOT receive a new contract.
|MJD calls Emmitt Smith's career rushing record 'doable' but he'll have to be on the field to have a chance. (US PRESSWIRE)|
General manager Gene Smith said the same thing about six weeks ago, and the word from the Jones-Drew camp is that if he’s not properly rewarded for last season, he could carry a holdout into 2012.
"There's no decision here,” Khan told the Florida Times-Union. "It's his choice. There's been very little for us to do rather than wait on whatever he might choose to do.”
I can certainly see Khan’s point. Though Jones-Drew led the league in rushing last year, all that amounted to was a five-win season for the Jaguars. Khan must figure that Jacksonville could have lost 11 games in 2011 without Jones-Drew’s help.
Plus, Jones-Drew signed a front-loaded five-year, $30.95 million contract in 2009, and now that he’ll only make $4.45 million in 2012 and $4.95 million in 2013, the Jaguars probably can’t help but feel that Jones-Drew is being unfair in his demands at this point. Of course, in Jones-Drew’s view, he’s watched Arian Foster, DeAngelo Williams, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson and Ray Rice recently get paid more money than him (to repeat, Jones-Drew out-rushed them all last season).
"This is the side of the NFL that's just as real as Sunday," Jones-Drew told the NFL Network last month. "This is what the NFL is really about. What I can say is that I hope that we can get something done. To talk about it in the media is not going to help. Hopefully we can have something where we can be able to get out there and play in the future."
At this point, that’s not looking like a good bet (though if Khan is serious and will not pay Jones-Drew more money, this hold-out will hurt Jones-Drew more than anybody and could make backup running back Rashad Jennings a very happy man).
And if Jones Drew doesn’t show up at camp, I imagine that probably won’t help him chase down Emmitt Smith as the league’s all-time leading rusher.
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