Posted Tue Aug 21st by Jon Heath
Star running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been holding out all summer in hopes of receiving a new contract from the Jacksonville Jaguars and is now willing to be traded, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. According to reports, several teams have already shown interest.
Though the Jaguars seem unlikely to trade MJD, who is willing to sit out the start of the regular season, the team’s owner, Shad Khan hinted otherwise on Tuesday.
“Train is leaving the station. Run, get on it,” Khan said, backing up the team’s hard-line position against a new contract for Jones-Drew.
In the wake of fellow star running backs such as Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Ray Rice all getting large contract extensions during the offseason, Jones-Drew wants more than the $4.45 million Jacksonville owes him in 2012. At age 27 with minimal wear and tear on his tires after sharing the load with Fred Taylor early in his career, MJD would be a highly sought-after player if placed on the trading block.
Rumors have been swirling that teams have already begun calling the Jaguars regarding and MJD and according to one Twitter “source” known as Incarcerated Bob, the Broncos “seem the most interested.” Bob’s “report” should be taken with a grain of salt, as some have speculated—myself included—that IB is merely a hack that tweets educated guesses and sometimes hits the nail on the head.
(He did “report”—predict, really—that quarterback Peyton Manning would sign with Denver earlier this year. That could be attributed to connecting the dots, or maybe he really does have sources. Regardless, we’re skeptical of him as a reliable source.)
The Broncos inquiring of MJD would not be outlandish, nearly every team in the NFL would be interested in the league’s reigning rushing leader. In July, PFT reported that the Broncos had $11.71 million left in cap space. Jones-Drew would come at a high price tag, but he and his agent may be willing to load a contract with easily reachable incentives and bonuses after year one in order sign with a team he views as a contender without breaking their 2012 bank book.
Many view Denver as a contender and Manning and Co. would likely attract MJD, especially after the Broncos led the league in rushing last season. But that brings us to Denver’s crowded backfield, where Willis McGahee appears primed for another solid year.
If, and that’s a big if, the Jaguars decided to trade Jones-Drew and the Broncos landed him, would McGahee be willing to stick around as a No. 2 RB? His agent said McGahee signed with Denver last year because he viewed Denver as a place where he could become a starter again. Now that he is the Broncos’ main back, would he be willing to take a backseat to MJD?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Either way, the Broncos would be more than willing to bring Jones-Drew in and send McGahee out. No matter how you slice it, MJD has more upside than McGahee (he’s younger, has had fewer career carries and is more dynamic).
As of now, Jones-Drew is still under contract with the Jaguars. Until he signs a contract extension or is placed on the trading block, everything reported should be taken viewed skeptically by fans.
With that said, we can hope! MJD would be a solid addition to any backfield and I can’t imagine any fan not approving of him coming to Denver. While it appears unrealistic to happen, what would you think of Jones-Drew in orange and blue?