Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 15 Days1 Comment

New LT Donald Penn said the Raiders plan to "run the ball, run the ball, then run it again, until the defense stops us."

The Raiders signed Maurice Jones-Drew to a three-year, $7.5 million deal, making him the favorite for lead-back duties ahead of Darren McFadden. DMC is the more talented runner at this stage of their respective careers, but he's obviously a massive injury risk. The Raiders upgraded their line by adding power blockers LT Penn and RG Austin Howard. They may want to run the ball at will, but an insanely tough schedule may prevent them from doing so at a high clip.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 24 Days17 Comments

Maurice Jones-Drew admitted to the Los Angeles Times that he contemplated retiring after the 2013 season.

Jones-Drew averaged a career-worst 3.4 YPC in 2013. He remained somewhat effective between the tackles, but obviously lacked a second gear on the rare occasions Jacksonville's blocking sprung him into the open field. "For awhile, I was contemplating retirement because I just didn't feel like I had it anymore," Jones-Drew conceded. "... I watched the game tape and I'd say, 'Man, why'd I do this? Why didn't I do that?' Part of it was, just physically, I wasn't able to do some of the same things I'm used to doing." MJD insists he's in better shape now and can rebound with the Raiders. The odds are firmly against him at age 29.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 2 Months

Raiders coach Dennis Allen says he's "considering using" Maurice Jones-Drew on punt returns.

It's understandable that the Raiders are looking to get a bang for their MJD buck ($1.2 million guaranteed), but having an aging, increasingly injury prone 5-foot-7 back return punts seems like a disaster waiting to happen. To put it mildly, MJD was sluggish in the open field last season. We'll just assume Allen was thinking out loud, and not seriously considering using MJD on special teams.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 3 Months

Maurice Jones-Drew said his goal is to play at 208 pounds this season.

Jones-Drew played at 205 during his time at UCLA. His desire to get back around that mark shows an understanding that he wasn't explosive enough last season while averaging a paltry 3.43 YPC. Aging running backs cutting weight is one of the best ways to put a little juice back in the tank. Jones-Drew has a realistic shot to beat out Darren McFadden for the starting title in training camp.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months

Maurice Jones-Drew's three-year contract with Oakland has a base value of $7.5 million with $1.2 million guaranteed.

The only guaranteed portion is Jones-Drew's 2014 base salary of $1.2 million. There was no signing bonus, and MJD could be released next offseason with no ramification on the Raiders' cap. It's telling that Jones-Drew couldn't do better than this on the market. Oakland now has him "locked up" through age 31.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months4 Comments

Maurice Jones-Drew said he picked the Raiders because they offered him an opportunity to "compete and play."

Darren McFadden may have the upper hand on MJD as the incumbent, but Jones-Drew has a real shot to open the season as the starter. With both Jones-Drew's and McFadden's injury history, is it also not out of the question that Latavius Murray gets a starting opportunity at some point in 2014. The Oakland backfield is shaping up to be a fantasy quagmire.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months1 Comment

Raiders signed RB Maurice Jones-Drew to a three-year contract.

Oakland will pair MJD with Darren McFadden in an apparent attempt to reincarnate the 2011 AFC Pro Bowl backfield. Jones-Drew, 29, rushed 234 times for 803 yards and five touchdowns in Jacksonville last season, adding 43 receptions. Our tape study of MJD revealed that he remains an effective between-the-tackles grinder and bowling ball, but has lost his second gear in the open field and is no longer a big-play threat. We're going to project Jones-Drew as the Raiders' Week 1 starter, but wouldn't count on him getting more than 15 touches per game. Oakland's backfield projects as a fantasy quagmire for 2014.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months1 Comment

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Raiders are "expected to agree later today" on a three-year contract with free agent Maurice Jones-Drew.

Schefter cautions that a deal is "still not final," but this story has since been confirmed by CSN Bay Area's Scott Bair and NFL Network's Albert Breer. Although it'll be a "three-year" contract on the surface, the Raiders have been structuring deals to essentially make them one-year commitments. Jones-Drew turned 29 last weekend, and may not have three years left in the tank.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months1 Comment

CSN Bay Area reports the Raiders are "very close" to a deal with free agent Maurice Jones-Drew.

Per reporter Scott Bair, "all signs" are pointing toward the sides hammering out a deal. That was the expectation after MJD arrived in Oakland Thursday afternoon. If you ignore the fact that a 29-year-old running back is one of the last things a rebuilding team needs, MJD fills the Raiders' need for a competent bookend to fragile No. 1 Darren McFadden. Jones-Drew is on the downslope, but didn't embarrass himself in 2013. He did, however, average a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 4 Months4 Comments

Free agent Maurice Jones-Drew is visiting the Raiders.

According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the visit "could get serious." That's true of all visits, of course. To date, MJD has only visited the Steelers, but the New York Daily News reported earlier this week that the Jets are "in the hunt." Jones-Drew would provide a declining bookend to a fragile Darren McFadden in Oakland. The rebuilding Jags let the veteran runner walk, but the rebuilding Raiders can't stop adding players who are past their prime.