The fantasy football world, especially dynasty football, got some shocking, or maybe not so shocking, news on Sunday after Tulsa World broke the news that Jaguars rookie WR Justin Blackmon was arrested on aggravated DUI charges at 3AM EST Sunday morning in Stillwater, OK. If that wasn't bad enough, more news came out later the same day that Blackmon was not only driving while intoxicated, but his blood-alcohol level was at .24, THREE times the state's legal limit. Either Blackmon was drinking all day Saturday, or he was literally pounding shots in the hours before he got into his car. At that level, I don't even think I would be able to get my key in the ignition without passing out. Blackmon was eventually released Sunday at 12:45PM on $1,000 bond and is due to be arraigned in court some time Monday.
Now, with the facts out of the way, lets get to the bad news regarding Blackmon's fantasy status. Right now, it doesn't look good. At least not for the early part of 2012. Blackmon faced several red flags going into the NFL Draft because of off-field issues, including a DUI in 2010 that wound up getting him suspended for one game. And because of this, Pro Football Talk believes the NFL could wind up suspending Blackman.
According to the NFL's Substance-Abuse Policy (Per PFT):
The policy states that, “[Absent aggravating circumstances, discipline for a first offense will generally be a fine of two-seventeenths (2/17)” of his base salary, up to a maximum of $50,000. The problem for Blackmon is the phrase “aggravating circumstances,” which are defined by the policy as “including but not limited to felonious conduct or serious injury or death of third parties, and/or if the player has had prior drug or alcohol-related misconduct.” If there are “aggravating circumstances, “increased discipline up to and including suspension may be imposed.”
If this was an isolated incident and was Blackmon's first arrest, further discipline would be minimal and all would be well with the world. But because of his history, the NFL may very well hand down a multi-game suspension. Considering Commissioner Roger Goodell's track history, that isn't out of the realm. And I also wouldn't be surprised to hear that the Jaguars were feverishly rewriting Blackmon's contract, adding a lot of language to protect themselves should another one of these types of off-field problems arise again after he signs.
So, what do owners do now? Dynasty owners should be okay. Since taking Blackmon means he can stay on their rosters for as long as they want, the only thing I would do is drop him down a spot or two in my rankings.Honestly, I had him ranked below Cardinals WR Michael Floyd. I would also hope that this knocks some sense into Blackmon and make him realize he's pissing away a good future. But like the title reads, could this be one of many off-field incidents Blackmon has in the pro's? Buyer Beware.
As for redraft owners, I wasn't really high on Blackmon's stock to begin with for this year. Considering he landed in one of the worst possible spots in Jacksonville, he was nothing more (IMO) than a WR3/flex option at best. Not because of his lack of talent, but because of the team, or lack or one, surrounding him.
At this point, all owners have to cross their fingers and pray that Goodell is in a good mood on the day he makes his final decision.