Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags in Camp - Minus 2; Jones-Drew and Blackmon Are Both No-Shows on Thursday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags in Camp - Minus 2; Jones-Drew and Blackmon Are Both No-Shows on Thursday

Article excerpt

Byline: Tania Ganguli

The Jaguars began training camp Thursday without two of the biggest names on their roster.

Neither running back Maurice Jones-Drew nor rookie receiver Justin Blackmon reported, both beginning training camp as holdouts. But while Blackmon's holdout should not last long as the Jaguars work on his first NFL contract, Jones-Drew's could as he seeks to renegotiate his current deal, which goes through the 2013 season.

"When I've talked to him I've even asked him, for the team, to be here, but ... guys have their own agendas, and being in the NFL it's about the team but you always have to take care of home," Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "And I'm pretty sure that's what he's doing and we'll be behind him regardless. I can't wait for him to get here, though."

Jones-Drew could not be reached for comment.

The Jaguars have said they are not planning to renegotiate Jones-Drew's deal. Owner Shad Khan told the Times-Union that this week and general manager Gene Smith said it in June.

But those close to Jones-Drew believe their stance isn't likely to persuade him to back down from his demands.

Jones-Drew is seeking to renegotiate his contract, which is worth $31 million over its life. He has already been paid $21.85 million of the front-loaded deal he signed in 2009. It goes through the 2013 season and pays Jones-Drew base salaries of $4.45 million in 2012 and $4.95 million in 2013.

The Jaguars gave Jones-Drew that contract before he was a full-time starter, just after they released Fred Taylor.

Since signing that deal, Jones-Drew has seen several running backs get better contracts, including two in the AFC South in Houston's Arian Foster and Tennessee's Chris Johnson. Since becoming the Jaguars' starter, Jones-Drew has outperformed those players. He was the league's leading rusher last season with 1,606 yards. …

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