Maurice Jones-Drew's monster 177-yard performance against the Indianapolis Colts last weekend proved he's back to peak form, but it sure sounds like his 38-day holdout from the Jacksonville Jaguars remains a sore point.
"I came to the realization when multiple teams offered multiple picks and players to trade for me, and pretty much the Jaguars wouldn't budge," the running back told ESPN Radio this week (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "They weren't going to do anything, and I think that was about the last week of the preseason, teams were calling Jacksonville and the Jaguars didn't want to do it.
"When it comes to that point where they're not allowing you to get compensated for your play, and they won't pay you and they won't show you your value, you have to come back."
Jones-Drew, the NFL's defending rushing champion, will make $4.45 million this season, and he's scheduled to receive $4.95 million in 2013, the final year of his deal. It's a nice salary, but the five-year, $30.95 million contract he signed in 2009 is a bargain as the payscale of elite NFL running backs has shifted.
Of course, the Jaguars have always had a rock-solid counter to all this. When they handed MJD $17.5 million in guaranteed money three years ago, he had never been a featured back in their offense. Jones-Drew signed off on a handsome deal that was more about promise than past results.
Jones-Drew then went out and rewarded the Jaguars for their belief in him. You'd think this would be the type of deal where everyone wins. Alas ...
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.