Maurice Jones-Drew

Maurice Jones-Drew Announces Retirement

APRIL 23: Jones-Drew will be in Jacksonville next Tuesday to officially retire as a member of the Jaguars, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

MARCH 5: Maurice Jones-Drew will not return to the Raiders or any other NFL team for the 2015 season. The veteran running back confirmed today (via Twitter) that he has decided to end his playing career, announcing his retirement.Maurice Jones-Drew

“After much discussion with my family and business team during this offseason, I’ve decided to retire from the National Football League,” Drew wrote in his statement. “Football has been a central part of my life for the past 24 years. But, now I’m excited about and looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

Although he played his final year in Oakland, most of Jones-Drew’s nine-year career was spent in Jacksonville with the Jaguars, and he’ll leave the game as the franchise’s second-leading rusher, behind Fred Taylor. While he didn’t mention the possibility in his statement today, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 29-year-old signed a one-day contract with the team to formally retire as a Jaguar.

In 126 total regular season games, MJD racked up 8,167 rushing yards to go along with another 2,944 yards through the air — he finishes with a very neat 11,111 yards from scrimmage for his career. Jones-Drew’s best season came in 2011, when he was named to the NFL’s All-Pro First Team after leading the league with 1,606 rushing yards.

Although the Raiders signed Jones-Drew to a three-year, $7.5MM contract last March, the odds were slim that the team would have brought him back for the 2015 season, considering he had a $2.5MM cap hit and no dead money let on his contract. Already armed with well over $50MM in cap room, the team will create a little flexibility by removing MJD from its books.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Fitz, Raiders, Parker, Wilson

While we learned the basic details of Larry Fitzgerald‘s new contract with the Cardinals earlier this week, we didn’t have the specific figures until today, as Joel Corry of breaks down the deal in a series of five tweets. Fitzgerald will receive a $10MM bonus on the second day of the 2015 league year, and has fully guaranteed $1MM and $11MM base salaries for 2015 and 2016, respectively. That $10MM bonus will be considered a signing bonus, meaning it’s prorated over the course of the deal, which extends through 2018, though it’s scheduled to void five days after the 2017 Super Bowl. The contract, which includes a no-trade clause, reduces Fitzgerald’s 2015 cap hit to $10.85M, creating $12.75M in immediate cap room for the Cards.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the NFL’s two West divisions….

  • Although Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie has publicly stated that the team won’t rule out keeping Matt Schaub in 2015, league sources tell Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that Oakland won’t bring back its high-priced backup. According to Tafur, safety Tyvon Branch and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley could also be on the chopping block, and running back Maurice Jones-Drew would likely have to take a pay cut to return to Oakland.
  • The Chiefs are engaged in ongoing discussions with the agent for free agent defensive back Ron Parker, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star, who tweets that Parker’s asking price is still about $6MM per year. Paylor reported earlier in the month that Parker would be seeking a $6MM annual salary on a four- or five-year deal.
  • Cap experts like Joel Corry and Jason Fitzgerald have recently speculated that when Russell Wilson signs an extension with the Seahawks, he could become the first quarterback to receive a fully guaranteed contract. According to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), that possibility is “very real,” and it’ll be fascinating to see how it plays out.
  • In his examation of the free agent market for tight ends, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap explains why Broncos TE Julius Thomas may be overvalued next month.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, MJD, Pryor, Chiefs

After a report yesterday indicated that former Raiders head coach John Madden sat in on the team’s interview with Mike Shanahan, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell revealed that Oakland owner Mark Davis wasn’t even in attendance during his meeting with the team, tweets Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. While that doesn’t necessarily mean anything – perhaps the timing just didn’t work out, with Bevell’s interview window set to close – it may not be a good sign for his candidacy, writes Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk.

Here’s more from around the AFC West, with a focus on the Raiders:

  • We heard during Wild Card week that the Raiders were one of five teams interested in Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, but now that Bowles is eligible to interview for head coaching jobs, Oakland seems to rank as his fifth priority, says Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The Jets, Falcons, 49ers, and Bears have interviews lined up with Bowles, beginning today, while the Raiders were “essentially told to get in line” behind those clubs, per Tafur.
  • In a second tweet, Tafur adds that the Raiders haven’t ruled out a pursuit of Bowles or Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio – who won’t talk to teams until Denver’s season is over – but neither coach appears to be a strong candidate for the position at this point.
  • Appearing today on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew said he hopes to remain in Oakland and help turn the team’s fortunes around in 2015. While MJD says his body feels good and he wishes he had seen the field more in 2014, the Raiders wouldn’t carry any dead money if they decided to cut the 29-year-old and his $2.5MM cap hit, so he’s certainly no sure bet to be back.
  • Free agent Terrelle Pryor is working out for the Chiefs as a quarterback today, a league source tells Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Kansas City already has four signal-callers on its roster, but with offseason limits now applying to the team, it’s possible one more could come aboard.

Extra Points: Zimmer, 49ers, Texans, Bengals

A few assorted items to close out this Monday evening:

  • The union between the Vikings and new head coach Mike Zimmer almost didn’t happen, writes Mike Garafolo of Having missed out on the Titans job, Zimmer felt as though his opportunity for a head coaching job might never come. “I almost didn’t go (on the second interview with Minnesota), yeah. I was so disappointed,” said Zimmer. “It was like, ‘Why even do this?’ It was to that point. I figured I was getting too old. I thought, ‘Forget this.'” Zimmer had been a successful defensive coordinator for the past 14 seasons.
  • The 49ers are creating more cap space to make room for a Colin Kaepernick extension, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. San Francisco got $6.6MM in relief when Carlos Rogers‘ contract (a post-June 1 designation) was cleared off the books, and received another $2.6MM after NaVorro Bowman converted some of his base salary into a signing bonus.
  • Keshawn Martin will face competition for the Texans’ returner job, per David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. “There are many candidates for those jobs,” said head coach Bill O’Brien. “Preseason is when we really have to get a true evaluation of the guys who are back there and who is going to return punts, who are going to be the kickoff return guys, and who will be the emergency guys if something happens to the starters.”
  • New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson thinks that right tackle Andre Smith is entering the upcoming season with a new fire, writes Geoff Hobson of “In my opinion, this Andre Smith is a different Andre Smith than the one I’ve ever seen,” said Jackson. “He’s a more focused, agile, hungry guy after something.” Pro Football Focus rated Smith as the 20th-best offensive tackle in the NFL last season (subscription required).
  • It might just be the usual preseason platitudes, but Raiders coach Dennis Allen claims there is no official depth chart as of yet, and states he is especially looking forward to the running back competition between Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. “We’re going to put the best players on the field, and the guys that give us the best opportunity to win, whoever that may be,” said Allen. “I do know this: I do know throughout the course of a 16-game season, you’re going to need everybody. I think it’s great when you have multiple players that you feel confident that they can come in and do the job. We’ll let the competition dictate who plays and how much they play. It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve got some qualified people in the running back room that can carry the loads for you.”

AFC Notes: CJ2K, Jets, Beckham Jr.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter) hears that Chris Johnson‘s visit today with the Jets was productive with good vibes all around. However, the Jets are sticking to their budget and will only ink the veteran if it’s a good value for them (link). The depressed running back market suggests that the Jets won’t pay more than $3-4MM for his services. More from the AFC..

  • LSU wideout Odell Beckham Jr., a potential target for the Jets at No. 18, will be visiting the team next week, tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. We heard earlier this afternoon that the Panthers were working out Beckham today.
  • Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew told SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that he feels great at this point in the offseason and wants to end his career in Oakland. MJD signed a three-year deal with the Raiders, his childhood favorite team, in late March.
  • Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz is visiting the Patriots tomorrow, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (on Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC Rumors: Dolphins, Jets, Clowney, Texans

As they continue attempting to fortify their offensive line, the Dolphins are hosting 25-year-old free agent Jason Fox for a visit, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. According to Salguero, if the team were to sign Fox, who reportedly worked out for the Chiefs earlier this week, the former Lion would be viewed as a depth piece with a chance to earn a larger role, not the Dolphins’ starter at right tackle.

Here’s more on another free agent paying a visit to Miami, as well as a few other notes from around the AFC:

  • The Dolphins will also host free agent wideout Lestar Jean for a visit and workout, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Jean met with the Panthers last month, but left Carolina without a deal.
  • Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link) still expects the Titans to release Chris Johnson this week. If and when that happens, look for the Jets to “pounce” on the veteran running back, says La Canfora.
  • Asked about Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina’s Pro Day today, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed that his club met with Clowney last night, tweets James Palmer of However, according to O’Brien, the Texans’ No. 1 pick is still “wide open” (Twitter link via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Before he signed with the Raiders, Maurice Jones-Drew was strongly considering the Patriots and Steelers as well, as he said today on Mad Dog Sports Radio (Twitter link).
  • In a pair of tweets, Aaron Wilson provides details on Dimitri Patterson‘s one-year, $3MM deal with the Jets, which includes a $1MM signing bonus, and C.J. Wilson‘s one-year, minimum-salary benefit contract with the Raiders.

Contract Details: Sanchez, McGlynn, MJD

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun and the National Football Post has passed along the specific details on a few recent contracts, so let’s dive right in and round them up (all links go to Twitter)….

  • Mark Sanchez‘s contract with the Eagles includes a $750K signing bonus, a $1.5MM base salary (guaranteed for $750K), and up to $1.75MM in playing-time incentives.
  • Offensive lineman Mike McGlynn signed a two-year contract with the Redskins, and according to Wilson, it’s worth $2.7MM. That includes a $200K signing bonus, base salaries of $925K and $1.125MM, a $100K roster bonus for 2014, a $300K reporting bonus for 2015, and annual workout bonuses of $25K. McGlynn can also earn up to $750K in incentives each season.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew‘s three-year pact with the Raiders has base salaries of $1.2MM (2014), $2.4MM (2015), and $2.4MM (2016). The rest of the $7.5MM contract is made up of a $1.2MM 2014 roster bonus, and annual $100K workout bonuses.
  • The one-year deal Louis Murphy inked with the Buccaneers is a minimum salary contract that also features a $65K roster bonus and up to $300K in incentives.
  • Winston Justice can earn up to $1MM in incentives on his new one-year, $1.175MM contract with the Broncos.

AFC Notes: Jones-Drew, Blount, Collie

As new Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew restarts his career in Oakland, he won’t be handed the starting job. Jones-Drew told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that it’s a “wide-open” competition at running back (Twitter link), presumably between himself and incumbent Darren McFadden, who was re-signed to a one-year deal earlier this month.

Neither runner did much of anything in 2013, with McFadden rushing for 379 yards in 10 games, while Jones-Drew totaled 803 yards rushing in 15 games, averaging 3.4 yards per carry, just 0.1 yards better than McFadden. Behind McFadden and MJD are Latavius Murray, Kory Sheets and Jeremy Stewart, none of whom have starting experience.

Jones-Drew said on his conference call today that he’s looking forward to playing for an organization that he has loved since he was a little kid, and that he feels he was done wrong by the Jaguars (Twitter links).

Catch more AFC notes in the links below:

  • The Patriots were interested in re-signing running back LeGarrette Blount, but only for one year, reports Boston Globe writer Ben Volin (via Twitter). Blount ended up signing a two-year deal with the Steelers worth $3.85MM.
  • Looking to add weapons to a somewhat depleted receiving corps, Boston Herald beat reporter Jeff Howe tweets that the Patriots could re-sign Austin Collie and add a “Miles Austin-type” in the future.
  • The Texans are still almost $9MM under the salary cap after signing safety Chris Clemons to a two-year deal worth $2.7MM, reports John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

Raiders Sign Maurice Jones-Drew

2:04pm: According to Schefter (via Twitter), Jones-Drew is “officially a Raider,” having signed a three-year contract with the team.

8:26am: The Raiders are in the process of finalizing a contract with free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew, according to multiple reports. Scott Bair of hears from two sources that the sides have agreed to terms and that the deal is just pending a physical. According to Adam Schefter of (via Twitter), the agreement isn’t quite official, but MJD and the Raiders are expected to agree on a three-year deal later today.Maurice Jones-Drew

An agreement appeared to come together quickly after word broke yesterday that Jones-Drew would be visiting the Raiders today. A report earlier in the week suggested that the Steelers, Jets, Dolphins, and Patriots were all in the mix for the veteran back, but the Dolphins agreed to sign Knowshon Moreno, and a separate report indicated that the Pats haven’t been in contact with MJD. As such, it looks like the Steelers and Jets, who both met with the former Jaguar earlier this month, were the Raiders’ prime competition to land him.

By signing with the Raiders, Jones-Drew will be joining the team he rooted for growing up — the California native still lives in the area. Oakland also re-signed Darren McFadden earlier in the month, but McFadden has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and will be on a one-year, prove-it deal. With Jones-Drew in the fold, the Raiders are hoping to replace the 2013 production provided by Rashad Jennings, who signed with the Giants. Unproven backs like Latavius Murray and Kory Sheets could also be in the mix for carries in Oakland.

Following an excellent 2011 season, in which he averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game, Jones-Drew was slowed by injuries in 2012. He appeared in 15 games in 2013, but underachieved for a subpar Jacksonville team, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, a significant drop-off from his previous career low of 4.2. Having turned 29 last week and accumulated more than 1,800 carries in his NFL career, the former second-round pick’s best days are likely behind him, but a modest bounce-back season in 2014 definitely isn’t out of the question.

With Jones-Drew and Moreno off the market, LeGarrette Blount represents perhaps the most appealing free agent running back still available. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), Blount flew into Pittsburgh last night for a Friday visit with the Steelers. Blount is also drawing interest from his old team, the Pats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Maurice Jones-Drew Visiting Raiders

Another suitor has entered the mix for Maurice Jones-Drew, according to Ian Rapoport of, who reports (via Twitter) that the veteran running back will visit the Raiders tonight and tomorrow. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets that the two sides hope to close a deal quickly, while Adam Schefter of (Twitter link) hears from a source that there’s a “good chance” Oakland signs Jones-Drew.

A report earlier in the week suggested that the Steelers, Jets, Dolphins, and Patriots were all in the mix for Jones-Drew, but the Dolphins have since agreed to sign Knowshon Moreno, and a separate report indicated that the Pats haven’t been in contact with MJD. Although the Steelers, and perhaps the Jets, remain in the hunt, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the cap space at the moment to meet the running back’s asking price. The Raiders, on the other hand, certainly aren’t lacking in cap room, even after a handful of free agent signings this month.

The Raiders have re-signed Darren McFadden, but have interest in adding at least one more running back to replace the departed Rashad Jennings. The team was linked to Andre Brown earlier in March, though it appears that possibility hasn’t gained much traction in the last couple weeks. Jones-Drew would make sense as an on-field fit for the Raiders, and a deal with Oakland would land him on the team he grew up rooting for — the California native still lives in the area, according to Rapoport (via Twitter).