Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, one of the top players in franchise history, expects his former teammate Maurice Jones-Drew to miss training camp if he doesn’t receive a new contract, he told 1010XL in Jacksonville (via Big Cat Country).
“I think (Jones-Drew) will continue to hold out because there were some things that were miscommunicated by both sides,” Taylor said. “Pride gets involved. Someone has to give. … I don’t think Maurice will be the first one to show his hand. Possibility it’ll go into training camp or even further.”
“He understands it’s a young man’s game. … He’s trying to use whatever leverage he has.”
Jones-Drew has skipped the team’s offseason workouts. He and Taylor have been working out together.
Jones-Drew has two years and $9.5 million left on his deal. He wants a long-term contract that would pay him as one of the top running backs in the league. Matt Forte and Ray Rice each signed new deals earlier this week, which could provide a template for negotiations.
But NFL.com’s Brian McIntyre reported in June that Jacksonville would not start talks for a new deal.
“He has expressed that he would like to renegotiate,” Jacksonville general manager Gene Smith said at the time, “and we have expressed, again, that we feel he has a contract with two years left and we expect him to fulfill those obligations.”
Jones-Drew led the league with 1,606 rushing yards last season. He also had a league-high 343 carries. Jones-Drew, only 5-8 and 205 pounds, may want his contract now as protection against future injury.