The Jacksonville Jaguars have not given up on oft-suspended wide receiver Justin Blackmon. At least, not yet.
According to the team’s official site, this was the message general manager David Caldwell had regarding Blackmon, who was suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
According to Caldwell:
We’re just not going to cut ties with him today.
“Today” may be the key word in Caldwell’s message. Blackmon, the fifth-overall pick in 2012, is certainly talented. Last season, he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and seven touchdowns during his first season out of Oklahoma State. But considering Blackmon’s already sordid past, the 23-year-old receiver just can’t be viewed as a long-term solution at wide receiver for the winless Jags.
He was already suspended for the first four games of this season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In college, Blackmon was suspended one game for a misdemeanor DUI. Soon after he was drafted by the Jaguars, he was again arrested on DUI charges in June 2012.
Still, Caldwell and the Jags are giving Blackmon their support:
Justin needs support right now. This has never really been about Justin Blackmon the player. It’s been about Justin Blackmon the person.
It’s not in our nature to just turn our back on one of our members that needs our help.
Blackmon won’t be helping the Jags anytime soon. His suspension will start immediately, and he will not be eligible for reinstatement until the beginning of the 2014 season. Also, unlike his previous suspension, he will be unable to visit the team facility or attend team meetings.
“We’re still working through some of the logistics of that, in terms of making sure he does get his help,” said Caldwell. “The help will come from himself, but we are going to make sure that he gets the help he needs and the direction he needs to get the best help out there.”