Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL's reigning rushing champion, continues to hold out from the team. In addition to forfeiting a $50,000 workout bonus and racking up fines for skipping the mandatory minicamp, Jones-Drew is facing $30,000 in daily fines for his absence (over $600,000 thus far).
After pocketing nearly $22 million in the first three seasons of his five-year, $31 million contract extension from 2009, Jones-Drew has the war chest to let it be known that he wants more than the $9.5 million in base salary he's set to make over the final two seasons of the deal.
According to Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports, first-year Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who's no stranger to labor disputes, isn't worried about the Jones-Drew situation.
"He's not here, and that's his decision," said Khan, who acknowledged that he met privately with Jones-Drew last month. "Believe me, it's not a great concern. You hope for the best, and you plan for the worst. Our goals for the season don't change, and if he isn't here, he isn't here. I don't control it. It's his choice."
Recent reports have Jones-Drew being willing to continue his holdout into the season, but it's hard to imagine him forfeiting game checks worth $261,765. Plus, Jones-Drew's $4.45 million base salary would be fully guaranteed if he's on the roster in Week 1, and, as Silver points out, failing to honor his contract would subject the running back's $9 million signing bonus to forfeiture.
Another factor that could get Jones-Drew back in Jacksonville before the season starts is Rashad Jennings, who's third in the NFL this preseason with 118 rushing yards while getting the first-team reps.