A major headline this offseason was Maurice Jones-Drew holding out this season for a bigger contract. In response, Owner Shahid Khan stated the train’s leaving! MJD’s hold out could be considered based out of greed or a smart strategy to take care of his family for the future, or somewhere in between. However, it is all irrelevant, as the hold out was detrimental to both sides. MJD has been lost for almost the entire season and the Jaguars have struggled once again.
The Jaguars strategy however still lives, and in the long run it will pay off. This year MJD held out and returned on his own power after seeing the front office refusing to budge. This is much like the year before, when cornerback Rashean Mathis skipped OTA’s for a longer contract. Mathis is a prized player, but the Jaguars front office was not on the same page for his demands as he was entering the twilight of his career. Much like Jones-Drew, Mathis suffered a season ending injury (ACL tear) and was only re-signed to a 1 year contract. All leverage was lost.
Two star players both lost leverage and money in back to back seasons. While the Jaguars haven’t done the greatest on field, they have been great in controlling the demands of their best players. On the other hand, MJD’s contract has one year remaining, so how smart the Jaguars are depends on how they deal with that remaining year.
– Antonio Furgiuele