The Jaguars have made sure that young running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be around for awhile, as today the team signed him to a contract extension. Reports say that the deal is worth $31 million over five seasons. Jones-Drew will be the feature back for the Jags after the team released long-time back Fred Taylor, who went on to sign with the Patriots.
“It really was a matter of wanting more Maurice,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. “We want Maurice on the field more often. We believe he’s a feature guy and it’s his time. We’re excited about that.”
The deal for Jones-Drew includes $17.5 million guaranteed. He has 2,533 yards rushing and 1,408 yards receiving since Jacksonville made him a second-round draft pick in 2006. He has averaged 4.8 yards a carry, 9.5 yards a reception and been at his best in goal-line and short-yardage situations.
“I still love the game,” Jones-Drew said. “I’m going to play the way I play. Nothing’s going to change. You see some guys get paid and they kind of shut it down. That’s not how I was raised, that’s not how I ever played the game before. I’m going to continue to play and work hard and do everything I can to help this team win.”
Last season he had 824 yards, a team high, and caught 62 passes for 565 yards with a total of 14 touchdowns. “It’s an opportunity with Maurice to kind of reward one of our own, someone who’s performed on and off the field,” general manager Gene Smith said. “I don’t have a son, but if I did, Maurice would be someone I would love to have as a son.”