The free agent market for running backs is never easy to navigate, but this year has been particularly hard. Several top running backs remain unsigned despite many teams needing an upgrade in the ground game. Maurice Jones-Drew is starting to realize that if he does not sign quickly, he could be the odd man out this season and teams are already taking him off their list of potential signings.
The Miami Dolphins had one of the worst run games in the league last year. They failed to bounce back after the loss of Reggie Bush and their entire offense suffered because of it. However, the team has yet to make a signing in free agency, instead opting to say who they are not interested in.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are not interested in signing Jones-Drew despite desperately needing a new running back. The Dolphins' lack of interest reportedly stems from the veteran's contract demands. Jones-Drew is reportedly requesting $3 million per season from any team interested. Given that the veteran is on the wrong end of 30 and coming off two unproductive seasons filled with injuries, Jones-Drew is going to find a lot of lacking interest with those demands.
So with Miami out, where does Jones-Drew land? The running back took a visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but left without signing a deal, reportedly because of his contract demands. The team has already brought in LeGarrette Blount who might win the deal. The Steelers were looking for a veteran back to play in tandem with Le'Veon Bell, but will pay a veteran an obscene amount of money to do so.
The New York Jets could be an option for Jones-Drew. The team has taken a look at the running back market and was aiming to sign Rashad Jennings before he went to the Giants. Jones-Drew could be a target, but likely not until after the draft. The Jets will consider rookies before aging veterans.
The last option for Jones-Drew could be New England. The team has Steven Ridley who will likely be penciled in as the starter, but after losing Blount to free agency, they need another back. The Patriots have been working off a three-man rotation and Jones-Drew would fit well.
With high contract demands, teams will hold off signing the veteran until he gets desperate enough to lower his requests. Unless Jones-Drew wants in on early retirement, he should consider taking a smaller deal.