Maurice Jones-Drew failed to show up for the first day of mandatory veteran mini-camp on Tuesday. This is part of a contract dispute that has begun after MJD put up league-leading numbers during the 2011 season.
The five year $31 million deal is not enough for the running back who is hoping to get paid like the best back in the league after doing it for Jacksonville despite facing eight and nine man fronts due to an anemic passing offense. While running backs have been getting the shaft lately across the league, skipping out on mandatory practices will not bode well for the Jaguars star. General Manager Gene Smith has said he will not extend Jones-Drew beyond his current contract but expect the running back to fulfill his contractual obligations.
The result? Jones-Drew is not going to be showing up for anything.
Even if the team does fine MJD the $60,000 they are allowed to levy on him if he misses all of the mini-camp, the team will hardly make a dent in the three years of accumulated wealth that Jones-Drew has made. Set to makes another $4.45 and $4.95 million in the next two years, I doubt that a fine that is .2% of his current deal will make him want to come out.
While the move to skip camp has been criticized by many across the league, in fan sites, and here at B&T, it ultimately is up to Maurice Jones-Drew. While he is sitting at home I hope he is thinking about what it means for the face of the franchise, the rock on which the team is built to be skipping town while everyone else works for the new coaching staff to try and return to the postseason.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims