Maurice Jones-Drew, longtime Jacksonville Jaguars running back, has retired from the NFL as of Thursday, March 5th. He played nine seasons in the NFL, finishing his career with the Oakland Raiders where he amassed just 96 yards on 43 carries in 2013.
The retirement was announced via Twitter.
Jones-Drew was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft and was an excellent complement to then-starting running back Fred Taylor. After Taylor’s departure, the Jaguars elevated Jones-Drew to the feature back role, ensuring a near-seamless transition from a franchise and all-time great to one of the most dominant backs of the past decade.
Maurices Jones-Drew and the Jaguars put together a solid number of years together, including an impressive 2011 when Jones-Drew managed to lead the league in rushing with 1,606 yards despite an absolutely atrocious passing offense. It was the highlight of an excellent career.
Unfortunately, things dipped following that season as the tread on his tires was bused up and he was never as effective again. He struggled to stay on the field and couldn’t manage to keep his yards per carry near the top in the NFL. This ultimately led to his departure at the end of the 2013 season and a sub-par year with the Raiders (as many careers go).
We here at B&T really enjoyed watching Maurice Jones-Drew put together some of the most impressive running the NFL has seen in recent seasons. He played with a big chip on his shoulder and forced teams to respect him as Pocket Hercules and dominated games seemingly through sheer will power. He was excellent back on some mediocre Jags teams in recent years and the Jags were lucky to have him be such an integral player on their team for the majority of his career.
We wish him the best in whatever he chooses to pursue now that he will no longer be punishing defenses.