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MJD's absence might be contract-related

Maurice Jones-Drew has skipped voluntary work with the Jaguars in the past, so no one paid much attention to the fact that he skipped the start of the Jaguars' offseason program on Tuesday. But MJD apparently has a reason for sitting out of this particular minicamp.

Pete Prisco of reports that Jones-Drew's absence is contract related. Prisco's sources says that Jones-Drew has been talking about a new deal.

The five-year contract Jones-Drew signed in 2009 pays him "only" $10 million over the next two years. That puts him outside the top-five paid running backs despite leading the league in rushing last year.

Jones-Drew's absence is notable because coach Mike Mularkey's first on-field minicamp starts Tuesday. While most teams are just lifting weights, the Jaguars and Rams started practicing Tuesday because they have an extra minicamp that comes with a coaching change.

We can't imagine the Jaguars giving Jones-Drew a monster new deal when he has two years left on his contract. This is the risk Jones-Drew took when he signed such a long-term deal. It's possible, however, that the Jaguars could give Jones-Drew a small bump in pay to keep their best player happy.

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