Archive for the ‘Maurice Jones-Drew’ Category

At this point, an investment in Vandelay Industries is probably safer than one in Maurice Jones-Drew. The life of a latex salesman is one of pride, and supreme importance.

All along throughout Maurice Jones-Drew’s holdout whenever Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey has said something about the league’s leading rusher in 2011 not being the starter even if he does report on Day X, his words have been treated as though they’re about as real as oh, I dunno, a creature that secures the freshness of your pizza. Previously we assumed that since the Jags still employed a quarterback who treats the pocket like his own personal black hole, and since their first-round pick Justin Blackmon was late getting to camp too, a parade would be thrown for Jones-Drew upon his arrival, and it would quite literally be the greatest day in franchise history.

Then something odd started to take shape in Jacksonville. For the first time in a long time, good things were happening, and the Jaguars have started to get this crazy and maybe legitimate idea that they can win without MJD. Blaine Gabbert is looking competent (and sometimes even confident), Blackmon reported to camp and has provided the rare combination of size and speed that was expected when he was made a top-five pick, and Rashad Jennings has rushed for 175 yards over three preseason games while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

So maybe they don’t need Jones-Drew after all, and neither should you.

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Sometimes when I write things, I look back on those things less than a day later and want to change them. Quickly.

That’s not because the words I wrote were false, and it’s not because they lacked reasoning or logic. It’s because there are times — somewhat rare times — when a storyline develops so much and so quickly that in hindsight, a different conclusion is needed.

As I sit here now looking at what I wrote yesterday regarding Maurice Jones-Drew and my assessment of that ongoing draft disaster, I’m still not entirely sure that I want to dramatically change my final advice to take him early in the second round, but then make sure that you grab someone like a Reggie Bush in the mid rounds, and also run over old ladies to get Rashad Jennings.

And the fact that I’m unsure, and we’re all very unsure, is the real problem here.

Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t even sure where you should draft Maurice Jones-Drew. During a fantasy teleconference last night the noted fantasy addict who also plays real football did little to give you confidence if you’re thinking of taking a risk on him.

From Will Brinson:

“A lot of people were scared last year with me coming off the knee injury but that obviously panned out well,” MJD said. “So if you’re scared to draft than be scared, that’s your choice. I understand that when it’s time to play, it’s time to play. So it’s up to you, you have to do what you want and we’ll see how it pans out from there.”

He promised to draft himself first in his fantasy league too. Surely that will be central to his negotiations with Shad Khan.

I also wrote yesterday that as each day passes without a positive development on the Jones-Drew front, his stock will continue to plummet. That should be modified to each half day, or maybe even every hour.

If Jones-Drew doesn’t have confidence that he’ll be playing and producing at a level on par with previous elite fantasy seasons, then how can you? Toss in the introduction of a new head coach and a new system that MJD would have to catch up on quickly if he miraculously reports, and the outlook is even bleaker.

That’s too simple, though, and the quick drop off after the second tier of running backs in about the second or third round is the reason why right now even with all the uncertainty, a gamble on Jones-Drew is still tempting. Yesterday I said that early to mid second round is still reasonable, which is where Jones-Drew’s ADP in NFL.com leagues currently has him slotted.

That’s the most aggressive end of the gamble, but the other end is a slide past the vast collection of running backs in the early rounds who may have a high upside, but they’re surrounded by question marks due to either injuries or time shares. We’re talking about (in this order, likely) Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Trent Richardson, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

That’s a hell of a lot of names (11, to be exact), yet still even once we get to the Frank Gore nightmare platoon and other ilk of similar high risk, Jones-Drew would be a late third-round pick in a 12-team league, and he’d come off the board in the middle of the fourth round in a 10-team league. So, now is he worth it after we knock him down that far? I still say yes with the clear caveat that you get Jennings too, because the fall at this point in the draft to the likes of Bush is significant when compared to the names above.

This is a question we’ll wrestle with a lot until Jones-Drew finally realizes he has no leverage whatsoever, and reports. In the end, it all comes back to risk tolerance.

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Maurice Jones-Drew hates you. He’s never met you, but he hates you. If you own a Wookie, he’ll squish it. If you get in a fight with a bear, he’ll pour honey on you.

These are not known facts, and are instead assumptions based on his current behavior. Jones-Drew is an obsessed fantasy player who hosts a fantasy radio show on Sirius/XM, and long before his holdout began he took himself first overall in an early draft. So surely his priorities are aligned correctly, and he wouldn’t jeopardize his own fantasy season, right?

Dammit, MJD. You were one of the four sure things at an absurdly unstable position. Now you’re becoming one of them, the concerning names who are enticing for many reasons, but alarming for many more.

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All offseason it was apparent that Maurice Jones-Drew wouldn’t be reporting to the Jaguars’ training camp without a new contract. So when a new contract didn’t land in MJD’s hands and then he consequently didn’t land in Jacksonville, no one was surprised.

But given the rigid attitude of new Jaguars owner Shad Khan and Jones-Drew’s minimal leverage since he’s still under contract for two more seasons, in July it felt reasonable to assume that he would sit out into mid August — long enough to make his point — and then report to the team.

Welp, now after Khan’s most recent remarks about a train and its imminent departure, it seems another option has emerged: playing somewhere else.

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