Maurice Jones-Drew #32 RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Call me idealistic, but I have an issue when one player calls out another for taking a dive. There are few things lower than purposefully not playing as hard as humanly possible in competition. I categorize snitching on that person as one of the fewer things that are worse. The premeditated act Jones-Drew alleges Greg Jones perpetrated has legal precedent in the US. Normally we think of college and pro basketball when discussing matters of gambling motivation trumping the universally accepted goal of winning. Although our suspicions run deep pertaining to the NFL, we place our national pastime on a pedestal. Well, MJD just took a axe to the base of that pedestal with his accusations that Greg Jones refused to block for MJD for benefit of Jones’…NFL fantasy football investments(?!). This situation comes on the heels of a night club incident that placed MJD as a suspect of an investigation of a bouncer being assaulted. All of this while he is recovering from Lisfranc surgery that derailed his 2012 season. It is no wonder that MJD showed up this spring out of shape, one year removed from holding out which ended disastrously for him.
On the field, Jones-Drew will be challenged with adapting to the Jaguars new zone-blocking scheme. The Jaguars signed Justin Forsett formerly of the Houston Texans who ran for 6.0 YPC albeit on 63 carries. The Texans also employ a zone-blocking scheme so there will not be a huge learning curve for Forsett. The drafting of Denard Robinson has also put a strain on the upside for MJD this year. MJD will have to overcome the rehab from Lisfranc surgery and prove that he is still a viable option at 28 years old.
There is zero chance that MJD will receive an extension prior to the end of the season, which will make him a 29 year old free agent running back. It is customary to view 30 as the brick wall for most running backs in the NFL, but at 5’7″ 210 lbs (when in shape) with a history of leg injuries I argue that MJD may have already crashed. Are the recent off the field issues an admition by him that he is done? The 2013 season will be a very interesting one in Jacksonville.
Estimated New Contract: 1 year, $2mm