The Jets are among a few teams interested in Maurice Jones-Drew (Mehta, March 24).
The Patriots, Dolphins and Steelers are also interested in bringing in the former Jacksonville running back. He visited the Steelers last week, but did not get a contract.
MJD, over eight seasons and 114 games, have over 8,000 rushing yards and 68 touchdowns. He runs for an average of 4.5 yards per attempt in his career.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWe’ve written on a few occasions that adding a player like Jones-Drew would be a wise move for the Jets. What the Jets need most is a third-down and pass catching running back who can provide some playmaking splash for the offense. Ivory is not gifted as a pass-catching running back. Bilal Powell had 36 catches (second most on the team) in 2013, his longest catch was for 36 yards yet he never ended a game with more than 50 yards receiving.
MJD is one of the league’s best pass blockers at his position and during MJD’s whole career, there was only one year in which Jacksonville fielded a better than mediocre offensive line, the 2010 group anchored by Eugene Monroe and Brad Meester. Could MJD see a resurgence if paired with a competent offense? While we believe Jags GM David Caldwell will turn things around in Jacksonville, it won’t be soon enough for Jones-Drew.
Of course with multiple teams courting him, Jones-Drew will likely get to pick the team he would like to join. At this point in his career we’d expect MJD would want to join on with a club that offers him the best chance at a championship and it would be hard for him to pass up New England. If the Jets can get competitive on compensation, then maybe the running back can be swayed elsewhere.
While some might point to Mike Goodson’s roster spot, Jones-Drew is a vastly superior player and Goodson’s legal woes and durability concerns make the transition an easy one to justify.
Regardless of who is throwing the ball, adding MJD at a bargain rate or a pass-catching running back like him would provide the boost that the Jets need. While the Jets could consider the draft what with their 12 draft picks, but they would be getting a much more raw pass-blocker. Paying a blocker who has some playmaking ability and veteran smarts seems the wiser choice.