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GM Caldwell Says It’s Not Likely WR Blackmon Will Be Back in 2015

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Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon has had major issues the entire time he’s been with the Jaguars, and now it appears if he’s going to keep playing in the NFL, it will have to take place elsewhere.

Jacksonville GM David Caldwell said today that the Jaguars have not spoken to Blackmon and that it’s not likely that he will be back with the team this season.

“I have not heard anything and I guess I harbor a little bit of hope but realistically I think when you’re away from the game for two-and-a-half years what you were once is not what you probably will be,” Caldwell said. “Your skills do erode and especially if you’re not staying in tip-top shape and you’re not in football shape.

“I don’t know to expect but I would say common sense would probably be if you haven’t played football in two-and-a-half years apparently that’s not a priority for you.”

Blackmon, whom the Jaguars took with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, hasn’t practiced or played since Week 8 of the 2013 season. That was when the NFL suspended him indefinitely for his third violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He must apply for reinstatement and then go through a nearly two-month long vetting process before he can hope to get back on the field.

According to the attorney who handled Blackmon’s most recent court appearance, Blackmon completed a voluntary drug rehab program in 2014. He was in court in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Nov. 20, 2014 to plead no contest to misdemeanor marijuana possession.

That plea was the result of his July 23, 2014 arrest, when Edmond Police Department officers stopped him for a traffic violation and said they could smell the odor of marijuana coming from his car.

That was Blackmon’s third arrest, and his second in Oklahoma. He was arrested in Texas in 2010 on a misdemeanor DUI charge (later reduced to underage alcohol possession) after police officers caught him speeding outside of Dallas. He was arrested again in May 2012 – less than a month after the Jaguars drafted the former Oklahoma State standout — during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a breath test allegedly showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit.

That arrest put him in the NFL’s substance abuse program.

Blackmon caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie, but he failed an offseason drug test and was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. Blackmon returned for Weeks 5-8 and caught 29 passes for 415 yards and one touchdown before the NFL suspended him indefinitely following his third violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The Jaguars have not cut Blackmon and Caldwell has said numerous times the team has no plans to do so. Blackmon’s spot on the reserve/suspended list means he doesn’t count against the roster limit or salary cap and the Jaguars do not have to pay his salary. His contract paused upon his suspension, so he would have 2 1/2 years left on his deal with the Jaguars if he were ever to return to the NFL.


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