May 6, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey talks with general manager Gene Smith before the start of rookie mini camp at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew is skipping out on the team's three-day mandatory minicamp, which essentially makes Jones-Drew a hold out. Part of the problem with Jones-Drew wanted to rip up and get a new contract is the fact that he has two years left on his contract and by the time his contract is up, he'll likely be on the down slope of his career. As mentioned before, the Jones-Drew hold out is kind of a unique situation because the Jaguars paid him like a top running back while he was still a back up, but the Jaguars played it perfectly.
When team's sign young players coming off their rookie contracts to a new big time deal, they're taking a gamble that the player will live up to the deal. Jones-Drew certainly has and then some, but the running back made a mistake by signing the deal he did. Jones-Drew signed what amounted to be a total of five years when in reality he probably should have signed a three-year deal. Has Jones-Drew done that, he'd be on his third NFL contract by now and undoubtedly making more money.
So while Gene Smith takes quite a bit of heat from myself and others, you have to give him credit in this regard. The team gambled with Jones-Drew, even cutting Fred Taylor to do so, and won. While chatting at Jaguars practice on Wednesday afternoon, the point was made that the team is getting Jones-Drew during the prime of his career at what amounts to be a bargain price. That's because Jones-Drew wanted the big guaranteed money and agreed to a five-year deal instead of a three-year deal.