Posted November 01, 2013

Justin Blackmon violates substance-abuse policy, suspended rest of season

AFC South, Jacksonville Jaguars
Substance-abuse problems will once again keep Justin Blackmon off the field for the Jaguars.

Substance-abuse problems will once again keep Justin Blackmon off the field for the Jaguars. (Sang Tan/AP)

Just as it appeared that Justin Blackmon had straightened himself out and was ready to claim a spot among the league’s top offensive players, the Jaguars’ receiver was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for his second violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy this season.

The NFL already forced Blackmon to sit out the first four games of 2013 under the same umbrella. This latest punishment is much more severe, as Blackmon will have to apply for reinstatement at the start of the 2014 season — with no guarantees the NFL will give him the green light.

“All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said in a statement. “That said, he must be held accountable and accept the consequences announced today by the NFL. His suspension will provide him the opportunity to receive the attention and professional treatment necessary to overcome his challenges, and we will support him during this time. The Jacksonville Jaguars will evaluate Justin’s status once he has successfully met the criteria to be considered for reinstatement to the league.”

Blackmon first landed in the NFL’s substance-abuse program after being arrested on a DUI charge mere weeks after Jacksonville selected him No. 5 overall in the 2013 draft. He also had another alcohol-related arrest while at Oklahoma State. That charge was reduced from a DUI to underage possession of alcohol.

Jacksonville’s new staff stood behind Blackmon after he was suspended back in April, and he was allowed to participate in training camp and preseason games. However, that slip-up voided all of the remaining guaranteed money in Blackmon’s contract, which runs through 2015.

Blackmon appeared en route to repaying the front office’s continued faith in him. He returned to the field with five receptions for 136 yards in Week 5, then made 14 grabs for 190 yards the next week. On a rebuilding team devoid of much talent, Blackmon’s ability stood out in an extremely positive way.

However, the mounting off-field issues again will force the Jaguars into a decision on his future. Because of that voided guaranteed money, the Jaguars could release Blackmon prior to either 2014 or ’15 without too much of a financial hit. Per OvertheCap.com, Blackmon would count just shy of $6 million in dead money toward next year’s cap and less than $3 million in 2015. Contrast that with the $14.86 million penalty Jacksonville would have been on the hook for had it released Blackmon following his initial four-game suspension.

The loss of Blackmon now also increases the Jaguars’ chances of completing the NFL’s second 0-16 season. Even with Blackmon in the lineup the past four weeks, Jacksonville has posted an 0-4 record and not come within 14 points of a victory. A 19-9 Week 2 loss to Oakland was the most competitive, score-wise, Jacksonville has been this year.

Cecil Shorts again will become the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver by default, with Mike Brown’s workload almost certain to climb as well.

But the depth chart is secondary for the Jaguars now to getting Blackmon’s issues in order, in hopes of keeping his NFL career from careening off the proverbial cliff.

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39 comments
MatthewEugeneHaag
MatthewEugeneHaag

If I had to guess I would say he is either an alcoholic or suffers from something like social anxiety disorder.  People that suffer from that can often seek to escape the pressure with drugs or alcohol the same way someone who suffers from PTSD seeks to escape their own memories.  Rolando McClain figured it out and got away from football.  I think he will be back once he screws his head back on right but he got out before more bad stuff happened to him.  Maybe Blackmon needs to do the same.

George
George

♫♫ "Blackmon ... Blackmon ... ♫

♫♪♫ "Where did you come from? ... ♫♪

♫♫ " Blackmon ... Blackmon ...♫♪

♫♪♫ " Wheeerrrrre did you goooo? ... ♫ "


YemiThaBassMan
YemiThaBassMan

Voided his guaranteed money?!

Wow. He's got a serious substance problem. It's worse than taking a couple drinks and getting behind the wheel. He has a serious problem.

Hopefully he can get his head right. When he's on the field, he's an asset to a struggling Jags team.  

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

Just a couple of years ago at the draft, I remember St. Louis was considering leveraging heaven and hell to get this guy on their roster.  In the end they decided they couldn't afford it.

When they suspend a guy indefinitely, do they continue to test him?

sam93505
sam93505

Does this guy realize the amount of people he has let down because of his inability to stay sober for 1 freaking season? He has embarrassed his family, his team mates, his coaches, the fans, and most importantly (but I'll bet he don't know this one), HIMSELF.  Such a waste of talent... 

I hear Ochocinco is available and in the area still...

swededawg52
swededawg52

No wonder the Jags suck - besides MIRSA in the locker room they play dopers.  I think the owner is the biggest dope. 

jdogmyers4
jdogmyers4

I bet the owner is jumping for joy, this puts this team one step closer to LA, can antone say LA Jaguars.

jdogmyers4
jdogmyers4

Won't give Tebow a chance(Tebow can play football) but I bet this addict will have a spot on the roster next season, bet he won't keep it long.

Cool
Cool

Can this be attributed to a concussion he sustained in college?  If it hadn't been considered before, I bet we hear something about it in the future when he is looking to sue someone.

riley8
riley8

If this guy can stay clean and get a real QB his potential would be "sky high."

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

I guess all those reports on Oklahoma State and their freedom of drugs were true: look at Blackmon

train805
train805

Reason number 1,248 that the jaguarss are a dying franchise. This kid was a nightmare in high school ,college, everywhere! Draft good pakyers who also are good character people. You will be rewarded much more, tah. Just drafting the best athletes regardless of their character flaws. I see josh gordons career ending in much the same way.

x72
x72

Get it together kid

Richard B
Richard B

The problem is that there's not much to do in Jacksonville besides wait in line at the drive-thru liquor stores.

King_Public
King_Public

So does breathing... but you know what cures cancer heal"THC"are

MatthewEugeneHaag
MatthewEugeneHaag

@swededawg52 First its MRSA not MIRSA.  Second that was the Bucs not the Jags.  Third its not dope its alcohol.  MRSA Methicillin Resistant Stapholocouccus Aruas.


Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@swededawg52 MRSA was an issue for the Tampa Bay Bucs, not the jags. You need reading comprehension classes

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

@swededawg52 If you think that's the reason they suck, you don't know much about football.

George
George

@jdogmyers4  My team, the San Diego Chokers, 

will be the team moving to L.A.

Jags khan goto London.

Slatlantican
Slatlantican

In 2011, there were 16 NFL games blacked out, including games at Tampa, Cincinatti, and San Diego.

Last year, the NFL allowed owners to take advantage of a new rule to avoid blackouts even with less than 100% of the tickets sold, provided they notified the league at the beginning of their season that they intended to use this new rule.  Yet the three teams above all still had blackouts, and Oakland and Buffalo joined the Blackout Club. But Shahid Khan said screw it, I'm going to tough it out: The result? STILL  no blackouts in Jacksonville.

Facts are inconvenient, but here's an important one:  Despite sucking the big one for the last three years, the Jags have gone that whole stretch without a game blacked out.   There will be an LA Chargers or LA Raiders (redux) before there will be an LA Jaguars.

However, if the NFL ever really does expand to Europe, I predict that there WILL be a London Jag-you-are franchise along with a German expansion club.  You read it here first.

Plainview
Plainview

@jdogmyers4 if the jags move anywhere, they'll move to london.  Not for a few years, but they will move to london. 

Poor LA.

NEsports27
NEsports27

@jdogmyers4 You're right, Tebow is a good football player.  That's why he's lost his job three years in a row with three different organizations.  I respect the man, but he's not an NFL QB.  He may be a FB or TE if he works at it.

What would be highlight-reel stuff is a guy with Tebow's mental makeup and Blackmon's athletic skills.

matt37
matt37

@jdogmyers4 Good lord.  What don't you Tebowmaniacs understand?  If you can PERFORM you get a chance.  Tebow blows.

Bazelope
Bazelope

How about High school?  Or even midget football?  Sue the townships that sponsor pee-wee football.  SUE EVERYBODY

riley8
riley8

@Voiceover310 @YemiThaBassMan So you are saying losing 35-0 is the same as losing 35-28.  I get it.  By that logic it doesn't matter what anyone does in the NFL besides the Lombardi winner.  

Slatlantican
Slatlantican

@matt37

I don't think Tebow has what it takes to be an NFL QB, Matt, but you can't say the Jets gave him a chance.  When the season was lost, and Sanchez was pulled, Rex chose not to go with Tebow for one reason only--he was terrified that Tebow would pull off some miracles for the Jets like he did in Denver, and then his hands would be tied.

The Jets did this boy an injustice.  At least the Pats were straight with him.