Just days before stating he is going to break RB Emmitt Smith’s rushing yards record, sources close to Jones-Drew said the All-Pro could sit out regular season games according to the Florida Times Union
. Jones-Drew is holding out for a long-term contract probably worth around what RB LeSean McCoy
received from the Eagles back in May.
No one knows how close the “people” cited by the Florida Times Union actually are to the Jaguars running back, but of the three major running backs
looking for a long-term deal around the league this offseason, Jones-Drew’s situation with Jacksonville seems the messiest.
NFL Network has confirmed that Jones-Drew is at least serious about skipping training camp, but nothing was mentioned about regular season games.
It will certainly hurt the little playoff chance the Jacksonville Jaguars have if their best overall player is not on the field to start the season. Plus, the likelihood of injury to Jones-Drew is higher because holdout players do not come into the season in top shape.
Jacksonville just hired a new head coach in Mike Mularkey
and drafted Oklahoma State star wide receiver Justin Blackmon
. Both were brought in to help the young quarterback Blaine Gabbert who struggled in his rookie season. But without Jones-Drew, Gabbert is at a huge loss even with the new additions.
Despite the fact Jones-Drew said he wanted the contract dispute to remain out of the media, the running back drew attention to himself earlier this week stating he could surpass Emmitt Smith’s rushing yards record. Jones-Drew is over 11,500 yards away from Smith, and at 27, that seems very highly unlikely.
Sure, his comments to the media weren’t in regards to the contract dispute, but Jones-Drew did mention his name next to Emmitt Smith’s, who sat out regular season games early in the 1993 season. Finally, the Dallas Cowboys caved and gave Smith his new contract. Jones-Drew is obviously hoping for the same result.