Jones-Drew’s announcement came less than three weeks shy of his 30th birthday. MJD, as he was commonly known, spent last season with his hometown Oakland Raiders. He played the first eight years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars under Jack Del Rio, who was named the Raiders’ coach on January 15.
Jones-Drew finishes his career with 8,167 yards and 68 touchdowns on 1,847 attempts. He also had 346 career receptions for 2,944 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Del Rio, speaking to USA Today, was very complimentary of Jones-Drew.
“This is one of the really fine young men that I’ve coached in my time in the league. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Maurice, and the way he conducted himself at all times while we were together in Jacksonville. He’s one of my all-time favorites. I mean, you’re talking about a guy that came in here and made an impact on this league.”
Jones-Drew was not only a terrific running back, he was a fantastic kick returner. The 2006 second round draft pick out of UCLA holds several Jacksonville franchise records.
He holds the Jaguars’ single-season record for most rushing yards with 1,606 yards (2011), most rushing touchdowns (15 in 2009), longest kickoff return (100 yards in 2007). Jones-Drew is also the franchise’s career record holder for most rushing touchdowns with 68, kickoff return yards (2,054) as well as most kickoff return touchdowns (two).
Additionally, he ranks second on Jacksonville’s rushing ledger with 8,071 yards trailing only Fred Taylor. Taylor rolled up 11,271 rushing yards from 1998-2008.
Jones-Drew best season came in 2011, where he led the league in rushing with 1,606 yards and rushing yards per game (100.4) on a league high 343 carries. That season marked the third straight year MJD reached the 1,000 yard plateau.
However, Jones-Drew production fell off mightily after the 2011 season. He appeared in only six games in 2012 and rushed for 414 yards on 86 carries. Then in his final season with Jacksonville, MJD registered 803 yards on the ground and five touchdowns on 234 carries for an average of 3.4 yards per carry — marking the first time he posted sub-4.0 yards per carry.
The Oakland native returned to the Bay Area as a free-agent last year after signing a three-year, $7.5 million deal, ($1.2 million guaranteed). MJD totaled just 96 yards on the ground to go along with 11 receptions in an injury plagued 2014 season.
Jones-Drew finishes his career as a three-time Pro Bowler (2009, 2010, 2011) and a two-time first team All-Pro selection (2010, 2011). MJD was a second team All-Pro selection in 2011.
[Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images]