A couple of weeks ago, Vernon Davis posted this picture on his Instagram. It’s a picture of Davis and Maurice Jones-Drew with the caption: “Me and Maurice Jones Drew discussing the FUTURE a few nights ago. #sanfrancisco.” Naturally, this sparked a lot of discussions all across the internet about what exactly “the future” entailed. Many rumors of Jones-Drew possibly joining the 49ers circled around 49ers’ fan sites everywhere. As unlikely as it might be, does it make sense?
There is no doubt that Jones-Drew is a great player. He has led the league in rushing and has made both the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team multiple times. There’s just no real need for him on the 49ers, especially at the price he’s going to want. Jones-Drew is a feature back, and he wants to be paid like one. The 49ers are already struggling to sign their own free agents, let alone bring in an expensive one at a position they don’t need.
In 2014 the 49ers have Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore and Bruce Miller all returning to the team. That’s a pretty crowded backfield as it is. Even now, there’s some complaining going on about the lack of touches. The 49ers would love to have Jones-Drew on the team, but there’s just no room or no need for him. The 49ers have more than enough capable backs to share the load and carry the ball. Adding Jones-Drew would just make things even more complicated.
The only way it would make any semblance of sense to pursue Jones-Drew is if Gore was cut and Jones-Drew took a much smaller contract than what Gore has now. Those are two big “ifs” and most likely aren’t going to happen. Even if Gore didn’t return to the team, knowing how the team operates, they would probably rather re-sign Anthony Dixon and go into the season with Lattimore, Hunter, Dixon and James as the backs.
Jones-Drew is going to be 29 years old this month. That’s only a little younger than Frank Gore already is. It would make absolutely no sense to sign a running back, for a good chunk of money, who is already about to hit the dreaded age of 30. The 49ers want to get younger at the position, not make a lateral move.
Maurice Jones-Drew was and is a great running back. Any team would love to have them on their roster. It just makes little to no sense for the 49ers to go after him. Vernon Davis probably knew exactly what he was doing with that picture and caption. He knew that we would all eat it up and run with it. It might be a bit far-fetched, but hey, at least it gives us something to talk about before free agency begins.