His holdout is over, but fantasy owners of Maurice Jones-Drew better not pop any champagne yet. According to a report from the Florida Times-Union, although Jones-Drew’s role with the Jaguars remains unclear in the long run, head coach Mike Mularkey has said the Pro Bowler will be the third down back and the starts will be had by Rashard Jennings.
This is not only a serious blow to Jones-Drew’s fantasy owners, but it signals the true beginning of the end for Jones-Drew’s time in Jacksonville. Shots were fired when Jones-Drew held out and the Jaguars basically said so what and turned their back to him. But taking the starting job away from Jones-Drew will either motivate him to prove Shad Khan and company wrong or it will place an unrepairable rift in-between the two sides.
But the question is now raised: are the Jaguars stupid for putting their pride before winning?
On the one hand, they’re standing their ground and not only supporting Rashad Jennings as their future back, but their snubbing their nose at the face of the franchise. Not only is this going to make life hard during the season, but it’s going to cost the Jaguars games.
Jacksonville opens with a very winnable game against the Vikings, but they’re likely to struggle without Jones-Drew and the fact that losses will come with a healthy Jones-Drew on the sidelines will likely start to side fans with the Pro Bowler rather than continue to throw stones at him along with management. If (and likely when) that happens, Shad Khan will be in a pickle of a situation and the rumors of a move out of Jacksonville will bare more venom, angst and fear than before.
This is a horrible situation for the Jaguars to be in and it’s only going to get worse. When the team heads over to London next year, they might want to stay there as after a season with a healthy Jones-Drew watching games on the sidelines, fans won’t be greeting the team with roses and kisses upon their arrival home.