Jaguars’ running back Maurice Jones-Drew skipped the team’s mandatory minicamp last month in June in a protest of his contract and now, with Training Camp on the near horizon, speculation is picking up that he could skip that as well. Right now, the two sides are as far apart as can be. Maurice Jones Drew wants a new contract as he is underpaid at 9.4 million over the next 2 seasons, while the front office won’t even talk contract with him as they want him to honor his commitment, even though they frequently cut underperforming players (just like everyone else) rather than honoring their commitment.
MJD has two options of how to respond. He could just assume they won’t change their mind, see a holdout as pointless and decide to put his crappy team above his finances, or he could hold out until they budge, which would likely mean a very extended holdout. If you ask Fred Taylor, a former teammate and close friend of Jones-Drew’s, MJD will be holding out. Considering how close the two are, I’d bet on him being right. It just remains to be seen how long Jones-Drew will continue his hold out if the front office continues not to budge.
This situation has all the makings of the Chris Johnson holdout last offseason. The Titans eventually paid Chris Johnson right before the start of the season, but, after missing all of the offseason practices and Preseason games, he failed to stay in shape on his own and missed out on valuable practice with a new coaching staff and struggled mightily in 2011.
The only difference here is that Johnson was actually offered a reasonable contract and still kept up his holdout for even more money. The Jaguars won’t even talk to MJD. Considering that MJD accounted for 47.7% of his team’s yards last season, the Jaguars can’t afford to have him miss games or risk getting out of shape. For fantasy football purposes, I’d stay away from him early in drafts and target backup Rashad Jennings late as a high upside sleeper.