Despite the inherent challenges to working out a contract for the fifth overall pick in the draft who was arrested for aggravated DUI with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.24 percent, the Jaguars and receiver Justin Blackmon haven’t been spending much time working toward doing a deal.
Per a source with knowledge of the negotiations (or, more accurately, non-negotations), the two sides will start talking more seriously soon.
Complicating matters is the fact that Blackmon is sandwiched between a pair of unsigned players, Vikings tackle Matt Kalil at No. 4 and Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne at No. 6.
Although for most of the unsigned players in the top eight of the draft the primary problem comes from a goofy push-pull regarding offset language, the Jaguars are expected to seek Janoris Jenkins-style protections against future misbehavior.
And that’s where perhaps the Jenkins and Blackmon situation become philosophically different. The Rams picked Jenkins knowing what they were getting; though Blackmon had a blemish, his latest incident came after being picked.
But the Rams can afford to take a hard line with Jenkins, since the fans in St. Louis don’t have the same level of expectations for an instant impact from a guy who was one of three second-round picks. For the Jaguars, who moved up from No. 7 to No. 5 to grab Blackmon, the team needs to get him signed and on the field.
Otherwise, they’ll look even more foolish for having faith in a player about whom there were clear red flags.