The last holdout: Jones-Drew plays cards wrong, has no choice but getting to camp

The last piece of unfinished business in the NFL is the issue of Jaguars running back Maurice Jones Drew -- the last holdout and for all practical purposes played his cards wrong.

He never established a relationship with the new owner, which he could have done by showing up at minicamps and OTAs. He has never met his new head coach and convinced him he is the real leader of the team, something every coach wants from his best player.

Instead the team has moved on, working on their 2012 identity and working around the absence of MJD. Jones-Drew is a very talented running back with tons of pride, but this time his biggest strength became his biggest weakness. The Jaguars are not giving him a new contract, they probably will not lift the $30K-a-day fine he has incurred. So, now MJD has little choice than to show up this weekend and at least start earning part of his paychecks as he pays down his fines.

I don't think we will see another Jaguar player hold out in the foreseeable future.

Beyond the Jaguars, a number of veteran players say they learned a valuable lesson watching this whole story unfold. As one player said, "I really didn't realize how fast those fines can add up to more than your salary," he said. "And for what?"

A retired player shook his head and said, "Years from now he's going to miss the million of dollars he blew trying to make a point."


Pat Kirwan has been around the league since 1972, serving in a variety of roles. He was a scout for the Cardinals and Buccaneers, a coach for the Jets as well as the team's Director of Player Administration where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. He is the author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, and the host of Sirius NFL Radio's Moving the Chains.
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