May 6, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) watches rookie mini camp at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick Justin Blackmon is still not in training camp, as he continues to be the lone unsigned rookie in the NFL. With Blackmon missing the first full week of training camp, he's reaching the point of falling so far behind it's going to impact how much he'll get on the football field early in the season.
Due to a new rule, even when Blackmon signs his contract and can report to camp, he won't be able to fully participate in pads until four days after reporting. This means that if Blackmon were to sign on Friday, he couldn't even suit up for full practice until Tuesday Aug. 7, with the Jaguars first preseason game taking place on Aug. 10.
It's highly doubtful that the Jaguars would allow Blackmon to play in a live game with just two full practices under his belt, which would really just be two padded practices and two walk throughs under the new CBA rules.
It's reached the point in which Blackmon is essentially going to miss live bullets because he, his agent, and the Jaguars can't hammer out a contract. The two sides are at a stalemate right now, with neither side looking as if they'll budge, but it's going to have to be Blackmon who caves. The issue, from what I've heard, is the team wants the ability to be relieved of guaranteed money owed to Blackmon if he screws up off the field again and the team releases him. First-round pick contracts are virtually fully guaranteed under the new rules, so the team wants something in place if they're forced to cut Blackmon because of an off the field incident.
Blackmon put himself in the situation to force the team to protect themselves in the deal. It's time for Blackmon to get a deal wrapped up.