Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 8/6/12

The Jacksonville Jaguars are perceived as one of the worst teams in the league, and their best player, Maurice Jones-Drew is in the middle of a holdout with two full years left on his contract. Despite being the NFL's top rusher in 2011, Jones-Drew needs to realize that the Jaguars can replace him.

The primary reason the Jaguars are unwilling to provide Jones-Drew a new deal is the fact that they frontloaded his last deal, giving him his "big money" upfront instead of evenly spreading it out. By giving him another deal, they would essentially be letting the running back take advantage of them.

The other reason Maurice Jones-Drew isn't going to be getting a new deal this year is that the Jaguars have great depth at the running back position. If you've never heard of Rashad Jennings, I'll forgive you as he was out for the entire 2011 campaign. Jennings is currently the Jaguars' top running back while Jones-Drew is out, and he's shown great promise over the course of the two seasons he played with the team. He reminds me a lot of the style that Fred Taylor used to dice through defenses. While he is still a downgrade compared to Jones-Drew, he should be able to carry the load as a starting running back if he's needed in that capacity.

It's easy to get into the game of who is right and who is wrong, but at the end of the day, that's not really what matters. The Jaguars want Jones-Drew with the team, but they aren't going to pay him. It seems unlikely that Jones-Drew will miss any games since he really has no leverage, and he only stands to lose by not rejoining the team before the start of the season, but even if he decides to take a hard line stance, the Jaguars should be fine at the running back position.


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