First off, I want to compliment Maurice Jones-Drew on his composure this season. He is under a lot of pressure in the last year of his contract to produce. The offensive line hasn’t been there for him and the press has been brutal claiming he is slow and has lost a step. Yet, never once during the season did he show any frustration with his teammates or throw any excuses around. He has been a true role model for a struggling team.
The end of the season is approaching and right now, he and Rashad Jennings, a former teammate now with Oakland are almost tied for season rushing yards with somewhere around 550. Maurice is the 21st back in terms of rushing yards. When the season is over, he will be marketing his services with two very bad years hanging over his head. The time to show off is now.
Running back salaries around the league look like this:
- Adrian Peterson makes $13,700,000
- Arian Foster makes $8,700,000
- Marshawn Lynch makes $7,500,000
- Reggie Bush makes $4,000,000
- Fred Jackson makes $3,600,000
- Ben Tate makes $845,000
- Rashad Jennings makes $630,000
Maurice Jones-Drew is making $6,200,000. The question Maurice needs to answer is whether he is still in the $5,000,000 and up category or will he be in the $4,000,000 and below category? Maurice needs a very good last five games to put himself in the Marshawn Lynch type of thinking and away from the Fred Jackson level of thinking.
What is at stake is whether a GM would give a three year deal or a two year deal. What is at stake is whether the pay would be $6,000,000 or $4,000,000 per year. I hate to think of Maurice playing for less, but you never know. The high end for Maurice, in my estimate is three years for $18,000,000 and the low end is two years for $8,000,000. He has a range of $10,000,000. Let’s say I am half right in this analysis then that means Maurice is playing for a difference of $5,000,000. A good last five games and his value will go up. A low productivity five games and it drops. Maurice is on the edge and I hope he runs like he never ran before. Run MJD, Run.