After denying that they were interested in trading him for months, the Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly open to moving running back Maurice Jones-Drew in the right deal.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that Jones-Drew is unlikely to be back with the team next year anyway as his contract expires following this season. Given that any team that acquires him will essentially be getting a rental for the rest of the season, Jacksonville shouldn’t set its price too high.
Jones-Drew is only 28 but he has some serious mileage on his legs. Entering Sunday’s action he has rushed for 208 yards on 74 attempts (2.8 yards per carry) and just one touchdown in five games this season. While those numbers are atrocious, a lot of that can be attributed to a complete lack of talent surrounding him.
Jones-Drew is a three-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro and was the NFL’s leading rusher in 2011 with 1,606 yards. He was also named the NFL Alumni Running Back of the Year in both 2010 and 2011 and the NFL Alumni Player of the Year in 2011.
So he was a dominant NFL running back just two seasons ago. At this point I’m willing to bet he has a few solid years left running the ball. Additionally, Jones-Drew is a threat out of the backfield as a receiver. Entering this week he has 298 career receptions for 2,600 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Still given his age and his expiring contract, the Jaguars can probably only hope to get a fifth- or sixth-round pick for him.
Jones-Drew’s guaranteed salary for this year is $4.95 million, and with the Jaguars in full-time rebuild mode, I expect him to be moved at some point this season.