Maurice Jones-Drew was as valuable as any running back in the NFL in 2011, leading the league with 1,606 rushing yards. Now, the 27-year-old halfback wants to be properly compensated for his achievements.
While Jones-Drew continues his holdout in search of what he considers “fair value,” new Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is getting fed up with the absence from training camp.
Khan answered questions at a press conference announcing the Jags plans to play games in London in each of the next four years, and one of the primary topics was Jones-Drew’s holdout. While the owner has primarily remained mum on the subject in the past, Khan finally took a firm stance on the tailback’s holdout on Tuesday.
“Train is leaving the station. Run, get on it,” Khan said of Jones-Drew, according to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union.
The comments were undoubtedly expressing a tired feeling on the part of the Jags front office and imploring Jones-Drew to get in camp before the start of the season. It would also seem to indicate that Khan has no intentions of caving to the running back’s demands.
In his absence, the Jaguars offense has actually impressed. Blaine Gabbert has performed admirably, throwing three touchdowns in the team’s two preseason wins, and his connection with newly signed rookie Justin Blackmon seems to be blossoming quickly. Meanwhile, on the running back front, Rashard Jennings has impressed in Jones-Drew’s stead averaging better than five yards per carry, while third-year back Keith Toston has been a pleasant surprise with 100 yards on just nine carries.
As Khan indicated, it would seem that the Jaguars are moving full-steam ahead with or without Jones-Drew. So, he better get on board before it’s too late.