Jacksonville Jaguars star wide receiver Justin Blackmon is in the middle of an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy after being suspended for the first four games last season, and he was excellent before being suspended for his latest incident. In one game, Blackmon hauled in 14 passes for 190 yards (the game against the Denver Broncos), and he averaged over 100 yards of receiving per game in four contests last year. The Oklahoma State product caught 64 passes for 865 yards after being an amazing college receiver for Brandon Weeden, so there’s little doubt that his talent makes him worth keeping for now; another incident would surely leave him on the waiver wire in no time.
Anyway, Jaguars GM David Caldwell stated earlier in the offseason that while Blackmon will stick around with the team, they are viewing him as a “bonus” player, implying that they don’t expect Roger Goodell to reinstate him in 2014 after his third strike against the substance-abuse policy.
Now, the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran reports that Caldwell stated that he isn’t “counting on” Blackmon playing this year, furthering the belief that the talented WR isn’t expected to play this year. Caldwell added that he would be “relatively surprised” if Blackmon plays, and the “relatively” indicates that his chances of successfully filing for reinstatement in 2014 aren’t completely shot. It will be interesting to see how Caldwell’s views on Blackmon’s suspension and future impact the team’s draft strategy this year, especially since this is a deep draft class. Will they take more than one receiver? Is a third-round pick the highest they will spend on one?