Bar Brawl Bad News For Jones-Drew
By Andrew Kates
Maurice Jones Drew has seen heavy play in the news cycle this week after an incident that occurred Sunday evening at a Florida bar.
The Conch House is a local bar in St. Augustine, FL about 45 minutes south of Jacksonville, where the All-Pro running back has been gearing up for a return with the Jaguars. Reggae Sunday is an event the Conch House hosts each weekend, popular with the locals as well as many Jacksonville residents that travel the extra distance to enjoy good music and fun in the nation's oldest city.
Shortly after 8 p.m., an altercation allegedly broke out at the bar where a security guard, trying to subdue a group of patrons, was reportedly sucker punched. The events leading up to the altercation are still unclear, but a formal complaint has been filed against the Jaguars running back, and Jones Drew could be charged for his alleged role in the fight.
MJD is the defendant in the case and faces a charge of battery if found guilty. The affidavit states that the security camera clearly shows MJD leaving after the altercation, but does not specify whether the video corroborates the accusation that Jones Drew threw a punch. The incident is currently under investigation and a copy of the report can be viewed here.
How does the incident affect the Jaguars season?
It's doubtful that MoJo will see any type of jail time, but if found guilty of misdemeanor battery, he could be looking at some fines and a possible suspension to start the season. Not to mention the off-season holdout and the untimely injury that caused him to miss 10 games last season, this was not how MJD envisioned his offseason unfolding. With the last season of his contract coming up and his return from injury looming, the last thing Jones-Drew needed was to attract any more negative publicity.
This is not even the first time MJD has been around physical altercations either. Many forget that in 2006, Jones-Drew was present with other former UCLA players when Ricky Manning Jr. allegedly beat a man unconscious in a Denny’s restaurant at 3 a.m. in Los Angeles.
Public figures and celebrities have to be careful not to be pulled into situations like the one that occurred last Sunday. Even if innocent of the accusations, this must be troubling for head coach Gus Bradley. There is no reason for MJD to be near a fight, especially at a bar where alcohol is consumed like it's a gameday tailgate. Everybody should be entitled to hang out with friends peacefully and enjoy some adult beverages, but being the savvy veteran that he is, MJD should have left before anything transpired, knowing that staying around would exacerbate the situation.
MJD does have a clean record and deserves the benefit of the doubt, but how many questionable decisions and statements can one make before a team has had enough? In the NFL, the bottom line is all that matters, so should MJD run his way to another 1,500-yard season and doesn't exhibit signs of breaking down any further, the chances are high he will sign another big payday. The chances that new contract is with the Jaguars is slim to none however, as they will most likely part ways after the 2013 season and nine years with the franchise.
Now that the spotlight is shining, Jones-Drew needs to focus on this season and his comeback campaign, or his wallet could be the next thing taking a big hit.