The Jacksonville Jaguars have a huge hill to climb in 2013 just to become a competitive squad. Now, the franchise will face that climb in stormy weather. The team’s most productive and promising receiver, Justin Blackmon, has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
This is no big surprise. Blackmon has endured a few unsavory run-ins with authority, including Johnny Law, in recent years. For sake of clarity, this is not a suspension based on use of performance enhancing drugs, this is a violation of the substance abuse policy. Blackmon has had his issues with alcohol and it’s alleged that he also likes to smoke a little something-something from time to time. This would seem accurate, based on the league’s policy for first time offenders and the four game suspension levied.
For Blackmon, his poor judgement is going to cost him. He’ll forego his salary for the first four weeks of the season and, due to his checkered past, this infraction allows Jacksonville to contractually void future guarantees. Simply put, they could allow him to play out the season and if they don’t like his productivity, they could release him and not have to pay the final $10 million of his contract.
Justin Blackmon is an elite talent. His skill set was impressive at Oklahoma State University and it clearly translated to the NFL. He led 2012 rookie receivers in every major statistical category except touchdown catches. However, it seems NFL players prone to idiocy, including Blackmon, need to start finding off-season jobs or full-time service projects to keep themselves out of trouble. Enough is enough with these dudes expecting the pay of royalty and then going out and displaying the responsibility of the court jester.