Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Tuesday, was cleared of State charges against him from an incident at a St. Augustine, Florida restaurant over the Memorial Day weekend. He was accused of throwing a punch that knocked out a security guard hired for crowd control at the popular spot for live music on the waterfront. There is still a threat of a civil suit, but as far as the law is concerned, there will be no charges filed against him. That is great news for the Jaguars organization, Mojo himself, and Jaguar fans. All three groups can now focus on the football side of things.
Maurice Jones-Drew, or Mojo or MJD, has been the lone star/face of the franchise here in Jacksonville. He is no stranger to controversy as last year’s holdout and subsequent lis-franc injury to his foot will attest. He hasn’t exactly been an endearing player to the Jaguar faithful. However, he has never been in real trouble with the law, he just comes across as a cocky individual who rubs certain people the wrong way.
This would be a good time for Mojo to look back and focus on his great charity work and maybe try to stay out of the public eye for a while. The heat associated with a growing reputation of a guy who may be a little bit of a hot-head, isn’t what a face of a franchise needs. Certainly the Jaguars don’t want that to be the case. He is a tremendous supporter of various charities in town and does way more good deeds than he gets credit for. But these really negative images last longer in the public eye than any amount of charitable good.
In football terms, Mojo really needs to focus on getting healed and returning to the runner he once was. He may be the best offensive player on the Jaguars, but if he can’t get his speed back and use his leverage to get into the holes, then he will be of no use to the team. Running Backs are becoming the dime a dozen position that receivers have been in the past. With less of a focus on the running game and more of a passing era, Mojo’s position requires him to be at the highest of high levels so that any salary offered to him, is justified. He is approaching 30, near the end of the life span of usefulness in RB’s. He’s been injured, he runs with a hard charging style and while he is a very stout individual, he can’t continue that style without the risk of some more injuries.
This is a big year for MJD. He wants one more big payday contract and with the Jaguars emphasizing youth and competition, if he doesn’t perform, he may not be around next year. That’s not to say he won’t get his contract, it just may be with another team who might want a 30 year old, high mileage RB. This new front office is smart. If Mojo heals well and performs up to standards, then he’ll be around. If not, then they will draft his replacement. That gives Mojo all the more reason to just hole up, stay out of the public eye, focus on getting healthy and lead this team the way he knows how. Tough and hard nosed.