Maurice Jones-Drew signs one-day contract, retires with Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a one-day contract. He retires as a Jaguar and will be placed on the reserve-retired list. Jones-Drew is a former Jaguars second-round draft pick. He rushed for 8,167 yards and 68 touchdowns with 346 catches for 2,944 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection who played his final NFL season last year with the Raiders. Here are comments about Jones-Drew Dwight Freeney, former Indianapolis Colts defensive end “MJD was one of the best running backs that I have faced over the years. His combination of speed and power in that type of frame was unmatched by anyone.” Fred Taylor, former Jaguar running back “I have tons of great memories of MJD which makes giving a single quote quite difficult without feeling as if I’m leaving something out.  Maurice came into the league NFL-ready, unlike most rookies.  He was very confident, assertive and anxious to hit the field so he could prove the critics wrong who thought he was too small.  MJD aspired to be the best running back in the history of the game.  He was never a big talker as he led by example and aspired his teammates through his play and passion for the game.  Big-time runs, breaking tackle after tackle, stalemating blitzing linebackers who were much bigger than him; those are a few memories that immediately come to mind.  I think it’s safe to say MJD had a great career.” Arian Foster, Houston Texans running back “It was an honor playing in MJD’s era.  I feel like he was one of the best backs of this era and he is the quintessential, prototypical, underdog story.  He’s exactly what you think of when you think of people placing expectations and odds on you, and he defied that to have a very prosperous and illustrious career. I’m extremely happy for his retirement and his next journey in life. May his next journey be his best journey.  I have the utmost respect for him as a man and as a football player. Nothing but love for him in Houston.” Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos quarterback “Maurice Jones Drew was a great running back.  It was always a challenge for our team to play against him. We had some good battles with the Jaguars when Maurice played there. On any given play, our defense knew that he could go the distance. They were always focused on trying to contain him. He had the explosiveness and the strength to make all different kinds of runs. He had an unbelievable career. I wish him the best in his post-playing days.” Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman/linebacker “Maurice Jones-Drew was a problem.   He was the type of guy you hate going against but you respect his game to the utmost.  After his rookie year I don’t think he could have used the whole disrespect card because he brought his A game and he made guys pay.  Just want to congratulate him on a successful career.  Hate to see you go but glad to see you go at the same time.” Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach “Maurice Jones-Drew was a dynamic player and a dynamic, dedicated man. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played. He was a football player first and a running back second. I just had a great deal of appreciation for what he was able to do as a player. I even appreciated his kick return and punt return abilities as a young guy. He’s done it all in the business and he should be congratulated on an outstanding career.” Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers safety “MJD was not only one of the best backs during his time in the NFL, but he became a good friend!  Facing him twice a year when I was with the Colts was brutal, but fun at the same time.  Wishing him much success!” Sylvester Croom, Tennessee Titans running backs coach and former Jaguars assistant “I was always impressed with MoJo when I played against him at other places.  In the back of my mind, I wondered what it would be like to coach a player like that because he was a very strong and powerful downhill runner and he had a chance to make people miss.  Then when I got to Jacksonville, I had that opportunity to coach him and I found out not only was he a great player, but he was really a fun person to work with.  He was talented and he was very smart.  He truly loved the game, but also people.  I enjoyed being around him and I really count it as a great privilege and honor to have had a chance to coach him.  He is one of my favorite people I have been around in this business and one of my favorite players I have coached in my career.  I wish him nothing but success in the future.” Terrance Knighton, Washington Redskins defensive tackle and former Jaguar “MJD is just one of those guys that I have the utmost respect for. He basically carried the load and was the face of the organization. He carried himself well in the community - off the field. He overcame a lot prior to coming into the NFL and was overlooked because of his size, and was probably one of the best backs I’ve ever played with. On a personal level, he’s just a family person, man. His kids are always around, and he took my family and me in when we first moved to Jacksonville. I’ve got younger brothers and they looked up to him, obviously. You know, he’s just the perfect role model.” Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars tight end “Maurice has been like a brother to me dating back to our days at UCLA. It’s been a blessing having him by my side throughout this journey and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Maurice was a warrior on the football field and I enjoyed going to battle with him. He is an incredible leader, but an even better friend.” David Caldwell, Jaguars general manager “Maurice Jones-Drew had a tremendous NFL career.  It was easy to see his love for the game of football.  His energy, passion and determination were contagious for everyone around him.  I remember when he came in as a rookie in 2006 when I was with the Colts and you just marveled at his strength, speed and power on the field.  He came to play every Sunday regardless of the circumstances and he always fought until the end.  I know he was a great influence for our younger players in 2013 on how to be a professional on and off the field.  He will always be a Jaguar and we will forever be grateful to him for helping lay the foundation for what we are building here in Jacksonville.” Matt Forte, Chicago Bears running back “It is with great respect and joy that I'd like to congratulate MJD for a great career as one of the top running backs in the NFL year after year. I've been lucky enough to watch him throughout his career.  He’s been a great player, husband and father and, an excellent friend to me.  You've been blessed with much and I pray God blesses your post-NFL life and next career in more abundance. Enjoy this next phase of your life, brother, and may God bless you and your family.” Denard Robinson, Jaguars running back "When I came into the league as a rookie in 2013, Maurice took me under his wing and taught me how to be a professional, on and off the field. I admired his work ethic and love for the game and truly benefitted from being with him every day. His leadership and desire to help those around him are traits that definitely stood out to me. It was honor to play with him and I wish him the best of luck in the future. Wolfpack for life!!!" Josh Scobee, Jaguars kicker "Maurice was one of my favorite teammates I've ever had the chance to play with. He was a selfless, tough, relentless and intelligent player. He was simply just fun to watch." Brad Meester, former Jaguars center "First of all, I want congratulate Maurice Jones-Drew on his retirement.    He had just a tremendous career and it was truly an honor to play beside him for all those years.  From day one when he stepped into that locker room , he was a tremendous leader.  He played each and every game with a contagious energy that all his teammates fed off of.  I owe him a special thanks.” Jeremy Mincey, Dallas Cowboys defensive end and former Jaguar “He is a good friend of mine, and we played together for a long time. He is the ultimate competitor and a true professional who played the game the right way. He put his heart into every snap he took. He was the smallest guy with the biggest heart I have ever seen. He is a fierce competitor with a heart of a lion.” DeMeco Ryans, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker “Jones-Drew was a tough back to defend. He was short, which made him tough to see over the offensive line and when you finally got your eyes on him, he was really tough to bring down because he was just so strong. He was a tough, hard-nosed runner – a really competitive guy.” Mark Duffner, Miami Dolphins linebackers coach and former Jaguars assistant “What a great day in Jacksonville it was when Maurice was drafted.  I know how excited the fan base was at the time just based off his collegiate career and then how excited we were as a staff when we saw him live in practice.  This guy was a natural football player and he knew only one word and that was to compete.  He competed fiercely every day.  He’s just a special guy to be around.  I was with him for many seasons and as competitive as he was, he carried the team, not just running the ball as a great running back, but he truly exemplified what it means to be a pro.  He was a superb player for the organization.  He would come to me often and tell me about his prowess as a linebacker and he would love to have a chance to play the position.  Well, he probably could have because he’s a baller.  It was great to see him learn from the great Fred Taylor and the way they worked together.  Maurice did the same thing to not only the younger running backs but he took other players under his wing while he was there.  He’s a great Jaguar and I’m so pleased he’s going to retire as a Jaguar because he means so much to that organization and the city of Jacksonville, and frankly to the NFL .” Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati Bengals safety and former Jaguar “There’s nothing but great things you can say about Maurice. He’s been a great back and he was a great teammate. I’m proud to say I played with him. Maurice had great talent, and you always knew as a teammate that he was going to give you his best every day.” Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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