After just three seasons in Jacksonville, Maurice Jones-Drew is now the third highest paid running back in the game, a remarkable stat considering he's never rushed for a thousand yards, and has yet to be a featured runner like he will be in 2009.
The extension will show immediate dividends for Jones-Drew, increasing his salary more than fifteen times over, and it outshines deals like those of proven stars like Clinton Portis and Brian Westbrook.
The talking heads have concluded so far that this as a win for the Jags, but I don't necessarily agree. While MJD scores his share of six-pointers, there is no way to tell how he will react to being "the man" in Jacksonville. His yards-per-carry stat has dropped each year, and with teams able to prepare for Drew as the featured back, it would look likely that that number could be hit again, a la Reggie Bush.
Jack Del Rio and the Jaguar office for see a continued growth for MJD, and should he continue to average over four yards a pop, and get in the endzone 15 times, he may be a Pro Bowl caliber back.
"I'm very confident this is the type of young man that will go out and continue to display the things that have made him so popular to begin with," Del Rio said. "He's gonna get plenty of work. We're excited about getting him the ball more often."
The opening act for the Jones-Drew show begins September 13th in Indianapolis, time for the scheme to win over the rest of America.