The Jaguars have said they will not renegotiate Jones-Drew’s deal, which has two years and roughly $9 million left on it.
Jacksonville can fine Jones-Drew $30,000 each day of training camp that he misses.
But by not showing up Thursday, Jones-Drew would deliver his loudest and clearest message to date about how determined he is to land a contract he believes is fair.
It sets up a showdown between the NFL’s defending rushing champion (and the league’s leading rusher the past three years) and a franchise that is dependent on and built around its Pro Bowl running back.
Jones-Drew has rushed for more than 1,300 yards in each of the past three seasons, and he led the league in rushing last year with 1,606 yards. No other back has amassed 1,300-plus rushing yards in each of the past three years.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan indicated Wednesday he will not offer Jones-Drew a new contract, according to Florida Times-Union reports.
“There’s no decision here,” Khan told the newspaper.
“It’s his choice. There’s been very little for us to do rather than wait on whatever he might choose to do.”
Jones-Drew skipped the Jaguars’ entire offseason program because of displeasure with his contract situation. The 2011 NFL rushing leader has two years remaining on a five-year contract worth $31 million. He is scheduled to make $4.45 million this season and $4.95 million in 2013.
Khan seemed unwilling to budge on giving the team’s star player a new deal.
“There’s more than 50 players under contract,” the owner told the Times-Union. “There are other people under contract in management, coaches. Does that mean if you do it for one, you do it for everybody? Where do you draw the line?”
The Jaguars open training camp Thursday, and coach Mike Mularkey told the Times-Union on Tuesday he was unsure if Jones-Drew will report. The $30,000-a-day fine is the maximum allowable fine for signed players who miss camp.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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