Raiders front-runner to sign Jones-Drew

Raiders front-runner to sign Jones-Drew
March 27, 2014, 1:45 pm
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De La Salle product Maurice Jones-Drew has rushed for 8,071 yards and 68 touchdowns in his NFL career. (USATSI)

Maurice Jones-Drew is in town and will visit the Raiders facility on Friday, a pair of league sources confirmed to CSN Bay Area on Thursday afternoon.

While the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the mix, the veteran running back is expected to sign a contract with the Raiders, the team he grew up rooting for. The sides have been talking for a few weeks, and the visit is believed to be the final step in an important acquisition.

The Raiders are in desperate need of a back to complement the oft-injured Darren McFadden and an unknown commodity in second-year pro Latavius Murray. Rashad Jennings, last year’s leading rusher, joined the New York Giants in free agency.

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Jones-Drew is an Oakland native and a Concord De La Salle High graduate, and there is some appeal about playing for his hometown team. So is the chance to rebound after averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season. He was injured most of the season after suffering an ankle injury following a clothesline tackle by Raiders safety Charles Woodson, which clearly impacted his play. Jones-Drew never averaged less than 4.2 yards per carry in eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jones-Drew is looking to rebound and prove that, at 29 years old, he can still be productive. He has 8,071 rushing yards and 68 touchdowns in his illustrious career. He also has excellent ball security, losing just 15 fumbles in eight years.

CSN Bay Area reporter Fallon Smith contributed to this report.