JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout — without a new contract.
The NFL’s leading rusher in 2011, Jones-Drew skipped the team’s entire offseason in a contract dispute. With coach Mike Mularkey able to fine him up to $30,000 a day — plus $60,000 for a three-day, mandatory minicamp — Jones-Drew could be out $1.2 million this season. He is scheduled to make $4.45 million in 2012 and $4.95 million next year.
Jones-Drew wanted to renegotiate the final two years of a five-year, $31 million deal that paid him nearly $22 million the last three seasons. Owner Shad Khan and general manager Gene Smith refused, not wanting to set a precedent of paying players in the middle of lucrative deals.
Yet no matter how good he feels, the seven-time Pro Bowl tight end won’t know until Tuesday if he will be medically cleared. That is when he is scheduled to have a CT scan to determine if his lacerated spleen has healed enough to play.
It has been only three weeks since Witten was hurt when he took a hard hit in the side during the Aug. 13 preseason opener at Oakland. He had limited participation in practice Sunday, only his second day back in pads. Dallas opens the season Wednesday at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Sunday also marked the return to practice for cornerback Mike Jenkins, and Jones said he “practiced well.” The former Pro Bowler missed all offseason work and training camp because of reconstructive shoulder surgery after last season.
Nicks emphatic about playing
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks stood at his locker and didn’t even wait for the question to be asked.
Nicks was held out of Sunday’s practice for the NFL kickoff Wednesday night against the Dallas Cowboys. But he said emphatically “I’m playing, period.”
Just hours earlier there was some concern when Nicks rode a stationary bike as the Super Bowl champions stretched, and then he watched the workout.
Was the right foot that he broke this spring acting up?
The answer was no. The Giants wanted to give him some rest so he would be full speed going against the Cowboys‘ new cornerbacks — Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne.