Maurice Jones-Drew's contract standoff has officially reached its holdout stage.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the Jaguars running back will not report to training camp with the rest of his teammates on Tuesday for mandatory minicamp. MJD has skipped offseason work to this point, but all of OTA season is voluntary. This three-day minicamp is not. Jones-Drew can be fined up to $60,000 for missing the camp.
"He has expressed that he would like to renegotiate and we have expressed, again, that we feel he has a contract with two years left and we expect him to fulfill those obligations," Smith said.
Smith would support coach Mike Mularkey if he wants to fine Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew, 27, has two years left on a five-year deal he signed in 2009. At the time, it made him one of the three highest paid backs in the league. Other running backs have zoomed past and he is trying to cash in after a monster 2011 campaign.
"Every day you live your life with choices and decisions everything you do," coach Mike Mularkey said of MJD's absence. "When you wake up in the morning you can have a good day or a bad day. That's your choice. He's made his choice not to be here."
"The one thing I took from there is there was a lot of things that used to bother me that I had no control over and it really just, I could feel the energy it just sucks the life out of you when you do things lik that," he added. "The negative energy, really what happens is it affects you when you are around the team I'm not going to let that happen this time. I can see it and be ready for it and not let it hit me as it has in the past."
"Love to have Maurice here but I'm very thrilled with the guys that are here and what we're getting done."
This is a holdout that threatens to extend well into training camp. The Jaguars have made their position clear and seem unlikely to bend anytime soon. Unless Jones-Drew capitulates, this is a story that could just be starting.