JACKSONVILLE – Maurice Jones-Drew gave eight seasons to the Jaguars.
The three-time Pro Bowl running back gave them a lot of yards, a ton of carries, and a slew of memories, too.
Jones-Drew on Thursday announced he will retire from the NFL after nine seasons. He spent his final season with the Oakland Raiders, but upon news of his retirement Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley gave his thoughts on the player who gave so much to the franchise.
And in those thoughts, Bradley gave respect.
"On behalf of the entire Jaguars organization, we would like to congratulate Maurice Jones-Drew on his retirement," Bradley said in an announcement. "Maurice has made so many contributions to the NFL over the past nine years, on and off the field.
"He is one of the great Jaguars, and he will always be a Jaguar."
Jones-Drew, a second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, rushed for 8,071 yards and 68 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Jaguars. He rushed for 96 yards on 43 carries with the Raiders this past season, beginning the season as a starter before sustaining a broken hand in the regular-season opener.
"After much discussion with my family and business team during this offseason, I've decided to retire from the National Football League," Jones said in an announcement via Twitter Thursday. "The past nine years were absolutely amazing!! I'll be forever grateful to the countless people who have assisted me throughout my NFL journey. To my fans, and NFL fans worldwide, you are the absolute greatest!! But for you, our league would not exist.
"Football has been a central part of my life for the past 24 years. But now, I'm excited about and looking forward to the next chapter of my life."
Jones-Drew rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, 2009-2011, and made the Pro Bowl following each of those seasons. He led the NFL in rushing in 2011 with a franchise-record 1,606 yards and added eight rushing touchdowns.
He rushed for 1,391 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2009 and 1,324 yards and five touchdowns in 2010, a season in which he missed the final two games with a knee injury.
"He was always a fan favorite and he earned that every day with the way he immersed himself in the community," Bradley said. "The traits that really stick out about Maurice are his competitiveness, determination and toughness. He is a role model to so many for the way he played the game each Sunday.
"I know he will continue to be around the game of football because he has a passion for the game and helping young people. We look forward to welcoming him back to Jacksonville whenever he can come back."
Maurice Jones-Drew will retire as a member of the Jaguars on Tuesday.