In what was one of the worst stretches ever for any team in the history of the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars had an unprecedented run of incompetence drafting players from 2009-2012. Former general manager Gene Smith put together one of the worst rosters ever over his tenure as GM, capping off his horrific personnel management by trading up to draft wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the first round of the 2012 draft.
Fittingly enough, the much maligned receiver got into trouble before even signing his rookie contract with the club. It was a sign of things to come, as Blackmon has only played in 20 games since being drafted. Suspended indefinitely going into the 2014 season, some have held out hope for Blackmon to get his act together, apply for reinstatement, and try to rehabilitate any semblance of an NFL career.
General manager David Caldwell essentially put those hopes to rest, all but confirming that Blackmon will probably never play football again:
"“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…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.”– Jaguars GM David Caldwell on Justin Blackmon"
We’ve talked a little bit on the site about how the Jaguars aren’t really including Blackmon in their plans moving forward and this is just public confirmation from the head of the organization.
Since his last suspension, the Jaguars have drafted 3 receivers and signed a 4th one in undrafted free agency, all of whom are probably more likely to produce than Blackmon at this point. With multiple chances to get his life in order and apply for reinstatement, Blackmon hasn’t shown any indication that he’s going to come back any time soon. This might be the last time we discuss Blackmon as a player who will ever suit up for the Jaguars again.
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