Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew suffered through the worst season of his career after returning from injury. Jones-Drew is a year removed from Lisfranc surgery, and while poor quarterback play didn’t help his efforts on the field, he didn’t seem to have the same explosiveness on the field in 2013. He is headed for free agency this offseason and the Jaguars have no intention to lock him up prior to the start of the period.
Jaguars general manager told the media on Tuesday of the team’s decision. “I think he’ll leave that up to his representation in terms of finding him the best value for his deal. I’m not pessimistic at all about it. I think he’s earned the right to go to free agency. He’s been a great player in this organization and he’s had a great career and I think he’s earned the right to go see what his value and his market is. It’s our right to decide if we want to match it and bring him back.”
What Jones-Drew and his agent believe he is worth will likely conflict with the reality of the free agent market. The back will be 29 at the start of the 2014 season, is coming off foot surgery and has a declining skill set. Jones-Drew posted the worst yard per carry average of his productive career (3.43).
The UCLA indicated on Monday that he would not be interested in a two-year, incentive laden deal.
In the harsh business realm of the NFL, Jones-Drew had better realize that he’ll likely enter a situation where he’ll be splitting carries with another back or two in another system from this point forward and he’s likely received his last big payday in the league.