That's the opinion of one league executive who spoke with NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer this week, part of a wide-ranging conversation about the impact of Jones-Drew's ongoing holdout.
"I'd look at him being the same guy over the next three years, and then decline, but I think this year is gonna be a wash," the AFC personnel director told Breer. "Running backs do not come back after a holdout with the same effectiveness. You need the timing with the O-line, especially with a new offense in there. You need to take hits. ... He's gonna limp into this year."
MJD led the league with 1,606 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground last season, a figure that should be tough to top in an offense that wants to develop Blaine Gabbert, showcase Justin Blackmon and has Rashad Jennings -- who looks like starting material -- hanging in shadows. MJD's still this team's workhorse, but he hasn't spent a day in Mike Mularkey's new scheme.