By Jake Brown
Pro Bowl Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been rumored to being open to a trade. Jones-Drew has been holding out all of training camp thus far. His agent, AdisaBakari, said that the star running back is upset with owner Shad Khan’s comments regarding his client’s 27-day holdout. Jones-Drew wants to play for an organization that wants and respects him. He is expected to make $4.45 million this season and $4.95 million in 2013.
While Jones-Drew is still open to signing with the Jaguars, Jacksonville will listen to trade offers from other teams. One of the teams that are interested in the running back is the New York Jets. Adding Jones-Drew would be a move that turns the Jets into serious contenders in the AFC. What the Jets are lacking most is a big offensive playmaker. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes is their only real threat on offense. Shonn Greene is not the answer at running back for Gang Green. Having Greene as a backup to Jones-Drew makes the Jets extremely dangerous.
The difference the star running back makes in a team’s offense can be seen in just one stat last season. When Jones-Drew was on the field for the Jaguars last season, they averaged 4.4 yards per rush and 41.7 plays per touchdown. When Jones-Drew was off the field, the Jags averaged just 2.7 yards per rush and double the plays per touchdown at 83.3. That stat is the tell-all right there. Jones-Drew makes any offense that much better and he does not only help the ground and pound.
The league leading rusher with 1,606 rushing yards last season can also help the Jets in the air. The Jets depth chart at wide receiver is arguably the worst it has been in several years. After Holmes, there is not much experience and depth at wide out. Jones-Drew had 43 receptions last season for 374 yards to go along with three receiving touchdowns. That is something the Jets have been looking for out of a running back. Greene is not a guy out of the backfield who can go down the field and catch passes. The Jets hope Joe McKnight can be that guy for them this season, but the former USC running back is still young and unproven.
Clearly, the Jets would be the perfect suitor to bring in MJD. A suspect Jets offense would welcome the running back with open arms. That is something that the Jaguars do not seem to be willing to do. Contract negotiations between Jones-Drew agent and the Jaguars do not seem to be going smoothly. If the Jets want to win now under Rex Ryan, the right move would be to make a big trade for Jones-Drew and pay the man. Is leading the NFL in rushing yards not enough to deserve a contract? It is time for GM Mike Tannenbaum to make the move for the superstar and prove to Jets fans that this franchise wants a Super Bowl ring.