There’s about to be a lot of words written about Maurice Jones-Drew in this space over the next few weeks. So if you’d like to become angry at someone for that, direct your anger at MJD. He’s hijacking the Jaguars, and GLS, the latter being the far more serious offense.
We’ve outlined the standoff many times. Far too many times, most recently yesterday, when Jags head coach Mike Mularkey said the franchise is about to play a very expensive game of “Where in the World is our best player?”. So you know the justifications for the heel digging, battle line drawing, and other such nonsense by now, and you know there are only two likely conclusions.
Either MJD will sit out for a few weeks and then finally cave, realizing that his employers hold far more leverage (most likely). Or he’ll get paid, with the Jags breaking because they realize that life without the league’s best running back in 2011 will really, really suck (much less likely).
But what if there isn’t just two conclusions? What if Jones-Drew gets traded?
I’ll step aside while Justin Barney of the Florida Times-Union discusses the most unlikely outcome for the Jaguars and Jones-Drew.
The last thing that a new coaching staff and a new owner need is this kind of cloud hovering over the team for any sort of time. Marshall Faulk forced his way out of Indianapolis during the middle of his career in a contract squabble, and the Jaguars would be foolish not to explore a similar path with Jones-Drew if he chooses to sit out in a protest about money.
While it’s easy to agree with the first line there and the need to avoid a distraction while Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon are trying to build chemistry in training camp, this won’t happen. Jones-Drew won’t be traded for many of the same reasons that he won’t be receiving a shiny new restructured deal. Although teams surely salivate over his talent, there’s a vast difference between talent and trade value.
The market is thin for a 27-year-old at a position where players absorb routine pounding, and the player in question here has averaged 361.3 touches over the past three seasons (318 if we just include carries). Jones-Drew is dynamic, but how much would teams be willing to pay for at most possibly three more years of elite production?
Definitely not enough for the Jaguars to justify moving their top asset.
And now the links part of the links post…
- Mike Wallace remains in contract purgatory, although the chances of him doing his best Vincent Jackson impersonation remain slim. Sitting out until Week 10 will do little to enhance Wallace’s value. [Ed Bouchette]
- The search for Joe Vitt’s replacement once he starts his six-game suspension in just over a month is still in the “infantile” stages. [Ian Rapoport]
- Say it together again now everyone: Ed Reed will be in attendance when the Ravens open training camp. [Aaron Wilson]
- The Jaguars signed the punter they drafted before signing Justin Blackmon, which is so very Jaguars of them. Blackmon’s deal isn’t expected to be completed before training camp. [Adam Schefter on Twitter]
- The Pats signed Visanthe Shiancoe, moving one step closer to their plan to field an offense comprised solely of tight ends. [Will Brinson]
- In other potential and likely rookie holdout news, the Chiefs aren’t close with Dontari Poe. [Arrowhead Pride]
- Willie McGinest knows people who like John Skelton, and don’t like Kevin Kolb. [PFT]
- The Bengals likely knew about Dre Kirkpatrick’s injury six weeks ago. He’ll be out for about a month, and Kirkpatrick is really sorry that his knee really hurts. [Cincy Jungle]
- Veteran Falcons linebacker Lofa Tatupu will miss the season with a pectoral injury, which means we’re about to find out if Akeem Dent is for realz. [Pat Yasinskas]
- Drew Brees wore a Guantanamo Bay T-shirt to his press conference yesterday, which seems entirely appropriate. [Fox]
- Sure, nine hours of training camp coverage on NFL Network sounds about right. [KSK]