Justin Blackmon is something special. Well, he was. Kind of.
It may be time for all of us – fans of Justin Blackmon or not – to start to think of him as a bust for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Despite massive potential (three 100 yard games out of 20 total, one 200 yard game), Blackmon simply can’t stay on the field. An indefinite suspension from the league is going to keep him off the field until he can win an appeal and until then he can’t communicate with his team and he must take ownership of his own off the field issues. Driving under the influence (his prime transgression so far) is a serious concern for both him and other people.
Justin Blackmon deserves his suspension.
He also deserves a second chance.
The Jaguars proved this offseason that they’ll take a chance on players with off field transgressions, picking up running back Bernard Pierce almost the minute he was cut from the Baltimore Ravens following a DUI. Similarly, they have been supportive in their comments regarding Blackmon.
The team moved on from Blackmon with the drafting of Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee in the second round of 2014 and they may add another receiver in 2015. With those two and the emergence of undrafted rookie Allen Hurns, lacking Blackmon didn’t hurt as much. The Jags were blessed to have three young receivers assert themselves over the season.
But having Justin Blackmon back would really solidify the unit.
While there is no hope for a reinstatement before the 2015 NFL Draft, not having to devote capital (draft picks) toward drafting a wide receiver this year would be a major boon for general manager Dave Caldwell. Whether Blackmon can appeal (and win) should weigh heavy on Caldwell’s mind. Blackmon was a reliable receiver during his time with the Jaguars and he would instantly become a top target in their offense, opening things up for quarterback Blake Bortles and freeing up some space in the running game as the defense has to respect his talent.
Just like the title of this article states, however, Blackmon is a missing piece. He isn’t here, he can’t be here, and he isn’t going to be here in the near future.
But if he was, this team would be a lot closer to competitive.
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