Steelers still in contact with Maurice Jones-Drew, interested in him for less than $3.5 million asking price

Marc Serota

Understatement of the Year: The Steelers are interested in Maurice-Jones-Drew for less than his $3.5 million asking price.

Free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew appears to be letting another day pass without a contract.

The Steelers are still hanging around like a dog at a dinner table, waiting to see what scraps may fall from above.

Is MJD table scraps? Refuse from the tail end of an era of football that actually saw running backs shine? The argument can be made. It cannot, however, be reasonably argued that a 28-year-old running back is going to get anywhere close to $3-3.5 million from the Steelers, a team with a 23-year-old featured back who makes about 20 percent of MJD's alleged asking price.

So is La Canfora's report nothing more than yarns being spun, or perhaps sinly his agent trying to leverage the Steelers' brand by continuing to assert the idea the Steelers are still interested, albeit, for less than his initially reported asking price?

Whoever added the "at a lower price" piece is probably the only one around MJD who gets it. Very few, if any, people in the NFL at this point aren't aware the Steelers have basically enough cap room to sign a veteran to a one-day retirement contract, nothing more. This says nothing of the fact they aren't going to pay Le'Veon Bell half a million and change to get 20-plus touches a game when Jones-Drew holds down the sideline chalk earning $2 million a game.

So it seems like the understatement of the year to suggest the Steelers are interested for less than his $3.5 million asking price. Veteran minimum or somewhere around $1 million this coming season might be more in their market. And even that would require a roster move of some kind.

That may be coming, and MJD still may sign with the Steelers at some point, but let's be realistic here. He's not going to get $3.5 million this year, or likely any year for the remainder of his career.

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