The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms with rookie receiver Justin Blackmon on Monday. Selected fifth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Blackmon becomes the final player to sign his contract from the first round of this year’s draft class.
The 6-1, 210-pound wide out was arrested for aggravated DUI in June and pleaded guilty in July, prompting Jacksonville to put in built protections into his deal that would allow the team to recoup money in the event that off-field problems derail his career.
Blackmon gets a good deal under the circumstances and the Jags get some protection via the delayed payment of his signing bonus, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
Here are a couple of tidbits pointed out by Florio:
- Four-year deal is fully guaranteed with no offset language. Meaning, if Blackmon becomes a bust and the club decides to cut him, he will keep the remaining money due from the team and the new money from his new team.
- However, he only pockets “60 percent of the signing bonus he was due to receive based on the slot, with $7.11 million coming now and the rest arriving via annual roster bonuses.”
After missing the first 12 days of training camp, the best news to come from this is that Blackmon will now hit the practice field. Recent reports out of Jacksonville suggest the state of the team’s aerial attack is not in good standing.
“There’s no doubt—our passing game right now is not very good,” Jaguars offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said Monday. ”It starts with the protection, drops, running routes properly.”
“When you stand on the sidelines, a lot of times it looks like the quarterback, but I’ll be honest with you: In many cases, the quarterback’s getting fooled, or he’s under pressure and having to make decisions faster than you want him to make,” he added. ”But we’ve got time. That’s why we’re practicing. It’s a work in progress.”
Once again being a bit protective of quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Bratkowski has referred to him as the most improved player on offense, albeit it is impossible at this point to evaluate whether the receivers, the signal-caller entering his second season or everything is the problem for the Jaguars’ offense.
Nevertheless, we only have to wait a few more days before we get to see how they fair against the defending Super Bowl champions on Friday evening, August 10 at 7:30pm ET.
Assuming he can learn the offense and stay out of trouble the next month, Blackmon will become the No. 1 receiver as a rookie for the Jaguars. The leading receivers behind Blackmon are Laurent Robinson, Cecil Shorts, Lee Evans and Mike Thomas.
Verse of This Piece: “Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught in their own desires.” —Proverbs 11:6
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He also writes for RantPolitical.com, where he reports on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyzes important issues in the liberty movement. Follow @_MichaelGartman, @RantPolitical and @GridironGrit on Twitter!