Jan. 1, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field. Jacksonville defeated Indianapolis 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is officially holding out and skipping the team's mandatory minicamp which begins today. Jones-Drew can be subject to fines totaling up to $60,000 if he skips the entire three-day minicamp, but if his hold out spills into training camp and the regular season, the fines will go up significantly. There was belief Jones-Drew would show up when the practices became mandatory, but that's obviously the case.
Now there is some belief his hold out could potentially spill into the regular season, where he would miss some games according to a report by Tania Gangulia of The Florida Times-Union. This could be a double-edged sword for the Jaguars in the long run and a really big gamble by Jones-Drew. The team is expecting quarterback Blaine Gabbert to take a big step forward and the team has what most feel is a more than capable back up running back in Rashad Jennings, who's currently learning and working in the new offense with the first team.
The sad fact is for Jones-Drew, while he's a great player and a top three running back, his position is one of the easiest to "plug-and-play" and get adequate production from. Running back is more of a luxury position to have a great player than a necessary one in the modern NFL. The team would undoubtedly miss Jones-Drew if he held out, but how much worse could they really get offensively?