Either the football gods have put a dreaded curse on the Jaguars and their first-round draft picks at wide receiver, or this franchise’s task of rising above mediocrity just got a lot harder. Because what Justin Blackmon did Sunday — getting arrested at 3 a.m. on a charge of aggravated DUI in Stillwater, Okla. — goes beyond putting a serious blemish on his NFL career before it could get started. He also embarrassed the Jaguars’ organization with an incredibly stupid lapse in judgment. Anyone scheduled to sign a fully guaranteed contract in the near future worth around $20 million — and who was fully contrite in October 2010 after being arrested on a previous DUI charge — doesn’t do something this dumb again unless he’s got a drinking problem.
The new rookie wage scale leaves teams and agents for draft picks few topics about which to haggle. In 2011, teams made up for the overall lack of money paid out at the top of the draft by giving the first 16 players taken (plus the 20th) fully-guaranteed four-year deals.
Now, this was a happy football team. And Friday morning? Well, around the Jaguars, this was one morning when a hundred or so otherwise serious men didn’t much mind getting fooled. This was the scene at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Center Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field Friday – a gray, overcast morning on the first day of June: