While two first-rounders have already signed today, the momentum created by Robert Griffin III’s contract with the Redskins and Dont’a Hightower’s deal with the Patriots might not extend all the way to Jacksonville.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars may not have first-rounder Justin Blackmon for the start of training camp, because of concerns of how to structure his deal to protect themselves.
Second-overall pick Griffin and ninth-overall pick Luke Kuechly got fully guaranteed deals with no offset language (which takes the team off the hook for future salary if the player is cut and on another roster).
But in Blackmon’s case, it’s not so easy, because of his arrest this offseason on charges of aggravated DUI (when he blew a 0.24, or three times the legal limit blood alcohol content).
Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith said in June the issue “can impact” the negotiations, and it seems they’re bracing themselves for that possibility.
Ganguli cited a source familiar with the negotiations who said he “wasn’t sure sure Blackmon’s deal would get done by the start of training camp” because of the uncertainty.
The Jags also have a hold-up with unsigned third-rounder Bryan Anger. The punter’s deal is complicated by the fact he’s not eligible for a performance escalator than offensive and defensive players can earn by playing in a prescribed number of snaps. That could drag that negotiation out, though there’s more of hope he’ll get to camp on time.