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Sticky situation for Blackmon, Jaguars

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Recent posts by Arthur Arkush

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Posted June 10, 2012 @ 12:11 p.m. ET
By Arthur Arkush

The Jaguars are in wait-and-see mode with top pick Justin Blackmon one week after the rookie wideout was arrested for aggravated DUI in Stillwater, Okla., his second DUI arrest in less than 20 months. The former Oklahoma State standout pleaded not guilty and will go to court on July 24. Because of Blackmon’s plea — in addition to his prior arrest and the fact that he blew a 0.24, three times the legal limit — it is believed that the Oklahoma prosecutor intends to try and come down as hard as possible on Blackmon.

Blackmon, who could be placed in the NFL’s substance-abuse program, will receive counseling and treatment, and he could be penalized by commissioner Roger Goodell. Although a suspension isn’t likely, we hear a one-game ban wouldn’t be shocking if Goodell decides he wants to send a strong message to a player who has demonstrated recklessness on multiple occasions in the past few years. At the very least, heavy fines could be coming.

A source on the scene at the Jaguars' June 6 press conference to address Blackmon’s situation wasn’t totally convinced Blackmon is ready to change his ways. When asked if he had a drinking problem, Blackmon quickly denied the possibility, instead saying he had a lapse in judgment and was done drinking “for now.” Although he appeared contrite, Blackmon would have been better served by saying he expects to get counseling and letting professionals weigh in, we hear.

Blackmon’s NFL career wasn’t off to the most promising start before last weekend’s events. He has received mixed reviews throughout offseason team activities, even being called out publicly by head coach Mike Mularkey for being lost at times. Blackmon also sat out the final day of the club’s first OTA with a sore foot. One source expressed his doubts about Blackmon’s ability to make the early impact the Jaguars are counting on this season.

In addition to Blackmon, Jaguars GM Gene Smith, who normally places so much emphasis on finding high-character players to fill out his roster, will now be under an even bigger microscope. PFW talked to some NFL teams leading up to the draft that had at least four receivers ranked higher than Blackmon, so while the GM was mostly lauded for trading up to get the highest-rated player on his board, Blackmon’s offseason already has league observers openly questioning whether Smith targeted the wrong guy.

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