The Jacksonville Jaguars opened their first day of voluntary workouts, missing a key piece of their offense. RB Maurice Jones-Drew is skipping the team’s voluntary workouts while seeking a contract extension. Jones-Drew is currently under contract for the next two seasons, a deal worth a reported $9.4 million dollars.
Speaking to reporters regarding Jones-Drew’s absence from camp, head coach Mike Mularkey admitted that the rusher is wanting a contract extension but he wasn’t concerned at the moment. “Again, I will say it is all voluntary. I wish he was here. He knows we wish he was here. I think his teammates have talked to him about it but it’s a personal decision, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I think if I spend a lot of energy worrying about that, that’s not going in a good direction for the guys that are here. I want to show them the positive energy that I have, and I don’t want to let anything be a distraction from the guys that are here.”
Maurice Jones-Drew was the lone bright spot on an otherwise dismal Jacksonville squad. The Jaguars ranked 32nd in passing offense and total offense. Despite an anemic passing attack, Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing. He racked up 1,606 yards on the ground and accounted for nearly 50% of the Jaguars offensive production.
Given the trend in the NFL regarding aging running backs, Jones-Drew is likely wanting to secure his share before his current contract runs out. At that point, he will be 29 years old. Currently, Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams and Steven Jackson all have bigger contracts that Jones-Drew.
Mandatory camps start in June for the Jaguars.