The St. Louis Rams rolled the dice in April and took a chance by selecting cornerback Janoris Jenkins along with his checkered past in the second round of the NFL Draft. While Jenkins offers some elite athleticism and physical ability on the field of play, his unpredictability and less than ideal off-field mentality certainly have their downfalls.
As contract negotiations move along between the two parties, the Rams are experiencing these pitfalls first hand. Earlier this month, the two sides had a disagreement about Jenkins’ financial adviser and how his money would be handled once a contract was finalized. That issue has been cleared up, but now the squabble is over how the signing bonus will be paid to Jenkins once his contract is signed.
The team wants to split it into four equal parts to be distributed proportionally over the years of the contract while Jenkins’ side wants the money up front like most rookies receive their bonuses. Jenkins isn’t like most rookies however as he has four children to three different women at this point and there is another possible paternity issue ready to surface. In short, the club wants to protect itself from any potential problems that could lead to less than what they bargained for from Jenkins as a player.
Talent is a necessary element to possess in order to make it in the NFL, but clearly the ability to remain level-headed is vital to maintaining any success in the league. The Rams (like most teams) are more than sold on Jenkins’ talent and ability to succeed as a raw prospect on the field, but their concerns with his character run much deeper than anticipated. At this point, the Rams’ roll of the dice looks more likely to come up snake eyes if the two sides fail to be cooperative and find a middle ground in this matter.
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