There are times when the writer must remember he is a writer and not a fan. While the lines of being a fan and doing a job are skewed, this time, I have to say while writing this story, I am both - and a mad fan at that.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on Friday. The deal meant the controversial runner would leave the franchise as its second leading rusher of all time and would also allow the California native to play in the state he grew up and for the team he rooted for as a youngster.
While the deal may have been a bad day for some Jaguars fans - having to see one of the team's best players ever join another franchise, it shed some light on MJD the player, and the relationship he had with the franchsie over the years. One statement made this writer change his tune about the mighty mite of a running back who did things most of us wish we could do.
In a statement by the Jaguars on Friday, the team thanked the former UCLA runner for his efforts in Jacksonville and for the time the sometimes outspoken player spent with the team.
Statement from the Jacksonville Jaguars...
“We want to thank Maurice Jones-Drew for all of his contributions to the Jacksonville Jaguars the past eight years. Maurice’s toughness, determination and competitive spirit on the field served as a great example to all of his teammates. Maurice has been one of the great Jaguars and he holds several team records for touchdowns that will remain for a long time. His place in Jaguars history is firmly established and we look forward to honoring him in Jacksonville at the appropriate time in the future.”
“Of equal importance, Maurice was a great ambassador in the community and his foundation played a major role in making our city a better place for children. On behalf of the entire Jaguars organization, we wish him the best of luck in Oakland.”
With that kind of farewell and the fact the NFL is a business first and everything else second, I find it shocking at the response MJD had to the comments made by the organization.
Like other recent signings, new #Raiders RB Jones-Drew said "I have a chip on my shoulder. I know I felt like I was done wrong" by #Jaguars, as read on Vic Tafur's Twitter account.
Just like the story on bigcatcountry.com, it was Jones-Drew and his standard M.O. If you remember, Jones-Drew chose the No. 32 when he was drafted by the Jaguars in the second-round of the 2006 NFL Draft because it was the number of teams who passed on him in the first round, including the team who picked him. Jones-Drew seems one to always be playing the "disrespect" card, be it real or fabricated.
The fact is, regardless of the more than 8,000 yards the runner got with the franchsie, and the fact he was one of the more beloved players on the team, the things this running back will be remembered for are not the things to write home about.
- A 38-day hold out in the offseason in 2012.
- A bar fight while rehabbing a foot injury in the offseason before the 2013 season began.
- His chip on his shoulder and always being "disrespected."
- The constant injuries of late.
- This last salvo he fired off.
This was the last straw. He leaves with the last word, but the Jaguars now have a new running back to work with in Toby Gerhart. MJD has Oakland. If it were a trade, the Jaguars got the better end of the deal. And we fans, not writers, have a chance to focus on what can be good for the team's future, not a cancer that could have caused more problems than he might already have caused.