Jones-Drew, Jaguars close to new contract

After releasing franchise rushing leader Fred Taylor last week, the Jaguars are trying to make sure Maurice Jones-Drew‘s stint as their featured running back isn’t a one-year deal.

The Jaguars are near an agreement with Jones-Drew, who’s only signed through 2009, on a contract that better rewards his contributions to the team, the Florida Times-Union reported:

    Jones-Drew and the team are close to agreement on the guaranteed portion (more than $20 million) of his potential deal, but not on the value of the total package, according to multiple sources, who requested anonymity because of the deal hasn’t been completed.
    Jones-Drew, who will be the Jaguars’ starter after the team released veteran Fred Taylor last week, appears to be on track to receive a contract in the $8 million-per-year range, similar to the six-year, $49.3 million deal ($29.3 million in the first four years) signed last year by St. Louis running back Steven Jackson.
    Jones-Drew gained 6,143 yards (including return yards) in the past three years, the highest total in the league in that span. Jones-Drew is sixth in yards from scrimmage (4,081), third (among running backs) in receiving yards (1,500) and third in touchdowns (40) over the past three years.
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