The NFL announced Tuesday that Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and Blackmon has issued a statement in response to the league’s decision.
“I’ve made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and pre-season with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return. I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.”
General Manager David Caldwell also issued a statement that says the team is “disappointed” in Blackmon and “confident he understands the obligations ahead of him” while adding that the team will not allow this news to slow down the progress they’ve made over the last three months. Thanks to two DUIs before he signed with Jacksonville, there are significant protections written into Blackmon’s contract that wipe out his remaining guarantees in the event of a suspension. The Jags could, therefore, cut him without owing another dime.
Caldwell’s statement offered no indication that the team plans to do that, but we saw the Bucs rework their contract with cornerback Eric Wright under similar circumstances this offseason.