Tracking Maurice Jones-Drew in Free Agency

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It's pro football's off-season, and with the free agent window wide open, one of the more high-profile free agents is our very own, former UCLA running back/backfield magician/Karl Dorrell's bad-playcall-fixer/midget superhero Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew, who is now free to sign with any NFL team, has spent his entire career in Jacksonville, but it looks like his days in Florida are numbered, especially with the Jags signing former Stanford and Vikings' RB Toby Gerhart to a three-year deal:

In a move which appears to signal the end of Maurice Jones-Drew's days with them, the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms on a three-year contract Tuesday night with running back Toby Gerhart.

The deal is worth $10.5 million, with $4.5 million guaranteed.

Gerhart didn't get an abundance of playing time with the Minnesota Vikings after spending most of his four years stuck behind All-Pro Adrian Peterson. But that means the former Stanford standout, who finished a close second in the 2009 Heisman Trophy balloting to Mark Ingram, has had considerably less wear and tear on his legs than Jones-Drew.

So where is the short dynamo off to?

The odds-on favorite seems to be MJD will be heading to New York to play for the Jets, with the Jets in desperate need of an improved offense, plus it seems Rex Ryan is interested:

One team showing "serious interest" in Jones-Drew is the New York Jets, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

It's a sensible fit for both sides, as the Jets are reportedly intent on returning to Rex Ryan's "ground 'n' pound" roots.

But, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the Antioch, California native returned to the Bay Area, with rumors circulating that MJD wants to return home and join a contender in the San Francisco 49ers, especially following news that 49ers' TE Vernon Davis posted a photo of him with MJD online with a rather suggestive caption:

Via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis posted a photo of himself and Jaguars running Maurice Jones-Drew onto Instagram, with the caption "Me and Maurice Jones Drew discussing the FUTURE a few nights ago. #San Francisco.’’

While that’s not "hastagtampering," it is an interesting idea. The 49ers have an expensive veteran in Frank Gore ($6.45 million in salary) in front of several young prospects, and there were suggestions earlier this offseason that Gore could be a salary cap casualty.

Obviously that would lead to the end of the Frank Gore era, which wouldn't be a huge shock given that Gore is 30 years old, has a lot of wear and tear on his legs, and had prior knee problems. Yes, it hasn't proved to be a problem yet, but as LaDainian Tomlinson showed us, the drop off from the NFL's elite RB to an also-ran can happen real fast.

Very interesting possibilities.


<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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