Posted April 30, 2013

Could Justin Blackmon’s suspension put his roster spot in jeopardy?

Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL Draft
Justin Blackmon's future looks a little cloudier after the NFL handed him a four-game suspension. (Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP)

Justin Blackmon’s future looks a little cloudier after the NFL handed him a four-game suspension. (Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP)

Justin Blackmon led the Jaguars with 64 catches last season, his first in the NFL, and he is expected to be the No. 1 receiver on the roster this year too. So, new Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell likely are in no rush to get rid of the 23-year-old Blackmon, despite his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Should they want to cut bait on Blackmon in the near future, though, it now would be a lot easier to do so.

That’s because, as pointed out by the National Football Post’s Joel Corry on Twitter, Blackmon’s off-field miscue scrapped the guarantees from the remainder of his salary — the Jaguars handed Blackmon a fully-guaranteed four-year, $18.5 million contract after drafting him, but put in a clause that lessened those guarantees to just his $7.11 million signing bonus if he got suspended. Blackmon held out after being selected by the Jaguars in last year’s draft, then was arrested for an aggravated DUI before inking his contract.


What this all means is that the Jaguars could release Blackmon immediately and owe him no additional money (for salary cap purposes, the signing bonus prorates out over the four years of his contract, but Blackmon received that money up front). Blackmon’s current deal runs through the 2015, with base salaries of $1.232, $2.073 and $2.914 million for the upcoming three seasons, respectively.

This could become even more important because Blackmon was drafted by the Jaguars’ previous regime. The Bradley-Caldwell combo recently added WR Ace Sanders in the draft, plus signed free agent Mohamed Massaquoi. The Jaguars also last week picked Denard Robinson, who worked out as a receiver but looks set to play running back.

The Jaguars’ new brass is working, as it should be, toward revamping a disappointing receiving corps. While sending Blackmon packing would be counter-intuitive toward that aim, the former Oklahoma State star has propped open a little wider the door to that possibility.

9 comments
Jean
Jean

Deal with it, Caldwell.

pandah462
pandah462

Unless they think Denard Robinson is going to be their WR of the future, probably not smart.

hwa15
hwa15

I feel bad for the writer who was handed this assignment from his editor. It's not his fault that this is possibly the dumbest thing I've ever heard. There is absolutely zero chance Blackmon is cut. 

SantosLebroJr.
SantosLebroJr.

one more he be  ban for one year in nfl  ,  u already have 2 strikes on u 

come on man, u got to be smarter then that  justin

Cool
Cool

It's a building year. Cut him, cut your losses and send a clear message to any future pot heads who think they will stay on the roster.

Kristian
Kristian

The Jags have 2 decent skill position players.  Blackmon is one of them.  He's not getting cut. Although, I'll bet he probably wishes that they would.

donald5
donald5

@hwa15 I would say it all depends on what the people around him are saying.  Is he the type of guy that is going to do it again?  Despite the statement his agent probably wrote, has he learned his lesson or is he just a spoiled athlete that does what he wants?  Is it worth it to keep this guy and have a wide receiver corp built around a him when he is one slip up away from a year suspension?  Are you privy to any information about the guys real personality issues or are you just getting the filtered version that we see in his press releases?

Kristian
Kristian

@Cool It's always a building year in Jacksonville.