Maurice Jones-Drew‘s holdout has been going on for nearly a month, but it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near ending.
USA Today reports the talented Jacksonville Jaguars running back has two years remaining on his contract but wants a new deal after leading the NFL in rushing last season with 1,606 yards. Jones-Drew will make $4.45 million this season and $4.95 million in 2013.
Jones signed the deal before his first 1,300-yard season and has consistently outperformed his deal. Jacksonville, on the other hand, factored in to the deal that Jones would likely flourish as a starter after sharing time and carries with Fred Taylor.
Team owner Shad Khan spoke publicly about the holdout last week, but his statements rubbed Jones-Drew the wrong way. Khan said that the holdout “doesn’t even move the needle” in terms of stress. Then later he added, “This is not a team about one person,” and, “Train’s leaving the station. Run, get on it,”
The public statements from Khan were followed by word from Maurice Jones-Drew’s camp that the running back is open to a trade.
“Maurice wants to play for an organization 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,” Jones-Drew’s agent Adisa Bakari told ESPN.
Khan and general manager Gene Smith have insisted more than once that they have no plans to negotiate a new deal, and the team is now wondering whether Jones-Drew will show up when the season begins on September 9.
Jacksonville head coach Mike Mularkey told USA Today that he has not recently heard from Maurice Jones-Drew or Bakari.