Let the Janoris Jenkins issues officially begin. Adam Cole of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Jenkins and the Rams are in the middle of a dispute over a pre-draft agreement between the two sides that Jenkins hire a specific financial advisor. According to reports, the Rams want Jenkins to hire Lou Taylor of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, but the rookie cornerback is happy with his current team that includes agent Malik Shareef, Army staff sergeant Sandy Cornelio and financial advisor Rich DeLuca of Merrill Lynch. Furthermore, the team has admitted that any pre-draft agreement is against the CBA, but that isn’t stopping head coach Jeff Fisher from pushing Jenkins to agree to work with Taylor.
I have a feeling people are going to be quick to jump all over Jenkins here, but I can actually see where both sides are coming from. Jenkins wants to keep his own people who have helped him and who he feels comfortable, while the Rams want to use their hand-picked group to make sure the young man doesn’t fall back into his irresponsible ways. After taking a chance on the kid, I have no problem with Fisher pushing to get his people involved in keeping Jenkins on the straight and narrow. But I also believe that Jenkins should be able to keep the people he is comfortable with provided that his group meets a certain set of standards set forth by the Rams. It sounds like Shareef, Cornelio and DeLuca have done a solid job keeping Jenkins straight since they took over, but if the organization is going to give him millions of dollars I don’t blame them at all for trying everything they can to take precautions. They may have overstepped their bounds here, but I find it hard to condemn the Rams for trying to look out for their interests in what is likely a high-risk player. With that being said, you have to give a grown man some leeway to make decisions, and if he doesn’t want to use your people, then you can’t force him to do so.
This whole situation is obviously holding up the process of getting Jenkins under contract, but both sides have said they want to work it out together without getting the courts involved, so let’s hope they can find some middle ground and get him in camp on time.