Holdout. A compound word no fantasy owner wants to hear associated with his/her first round draft pick.
But that’s just what Maurice Jones-Drew’s owners are going to hear a lot of this summer.
MJD wants to ink a new deal after leading the league in rushing yards in 2011. He pretty much is the entire Jacksonville offense. And while I’m being honest, he’s pretty much the only reason to even go see a Jacksonville game.
So why not pay the guy?
Same reason the Bears aren’t paying Matt Forte, or why the Titans were reluctant to pay Chris Johnson last year (remember Johnson had a lengthy holdout last summer that can be attributed to his poor 2011 season): Value. Running backs in today’s NFL simply are not as valuable as other positions (namely quarterback). They tend to be easily replaceable. Plus, most teams only get three-to-five good seasons out of a running back before a steep physical and statistical decline.
The name to know should Jones-Drew’s holdout extend into the regular season: Rashad Jennings. In his first two seasons as MJD’s back-up, Jennings rushed the ball 123 times for 661 yards with five touchdowns. That’s a 5.4 yards-per-carry. Not too shabby. He’s also been effective as a receiver with 42 catches for 324 yards.
It should be noted that Jennings did miss all of the 2011 season with a knee injury, although that injury did not require surgery. The Jags expect him to take all the first team reps in camp if MJD does not show up, which is a good sign that Jennings is back to 100 percent.
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