When former general manager Gene Smith traded up to the 5th overall pick in the 2012 draft to select Justin Blackmon, he thought he acquired the final piece in his plan to rebuild the franchise. Barely 2 years later, the Jaguars are still trying to clean up his mess. Former first round picks Eugene Monroe and Blaine Gabbert were traded away, and Blackmon is unable to stay on the field thanks to substance abuse issues.
New general manager David Caldwell all but guaranteed Blackmon’s separation from the franchise when he took receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but apparently the team isn’t planning on getting rid of the troubled playmaker.
Ed Werder of ESPN reports, and PFT has confirmed, that the Jaguars intend to welcome Blackmon back if/when he’s reinstated by the league.
While his return sometime in the 2014 season is not out of the question, the team is clearly planning to play without him.
While not exactly breaking news, it became obvious the team was going to keep Blackmon when they didn’t bother cutting him any time in the offseason.
Right now, Justin Blackmon costs the Jaguars absolutely nothing to keep. While suspended, he does not take up a roster spot and he does not count against the salary cap. While there have been some pretty damning quotes about Blackmon’s progress this offseason, it makes sense to give Blackmon a chance to come back.
"I was hoping it would be better than where it is going. We haven’t heard much and it doesn’t sound like it’s going in the right direction. Like Dave said, we can’t count on him.– Head Coach Gus Bradley"
At the end of they day, this report honestly doesn’t mean much. The likelihood is still that Blackmon will not play for the Jaguars again. Let’s just keep thinking that until he’s reinstated.
– Daniel Lago