Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is open to a trade, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.Jones-Drew has been holding out from training camp and preseason for nearly four weeks so far and is upset over what Jaguars owner Shahid Khan told Yahoo! Sports about it: “He’s not here, and that’s his decision. Believe me, it’s not a great concern.”
The holdout stems from Jones-Drew wanting a new contract after being one of the premiere backs in the league the last three seasons. He led the NFL in rushing with 1,606 yards last season and has put up 4,321 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns the last three years.
His current deal has two years and $9.4 million left on it, but part of that money is already going to $30,000-a-day fines for holding out.
Khan has since doubled down on his initial statements, telling ESPN, “This is not a team about one person. Train’s leaving the station. Run, get on it.”
Here’s what Jones-Drew’s agent told the AP:
“Maurice wants to play for an organisation that wants him and for an owner who respects him and values what he brings to a team — on the field, in the locker room and in the community. Obviously, he’s not happy that what started as a very cordial and private conversation is now public and contentious.”
Even if Jones-Drew plays for the Jaguars at some point this season the relationship may be irreparable. Schefter adds that his holdout is now “fully expected” to extend into the regular season.
If Khan doesn’t change his mind a trade would be the best solution for both parties.
A running back of Jones-Drew’s calibre — 27 years old, solid pass catcher to go along with those gaudy rushing numbers — would bring back quality assets in return, i.e. high draft picks. And just about any team would love to have his services.
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