As expected, the Jacksonville Jaguars have officially added receiver Justin Blackmon to the active roster, a day before the team visits the St. Louis Rams.
Blackmon, the fifth overall pick in 2012, recently returned to practice after a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse program. The Jaguars had been using a short-term roster exemption; by moving Blackmon to the 53-man roster, the Jags had to clear a spot. The short straw (or, given the team’s current situation, the long straw) went to guard Jacques McClendon.
Some have speculated that Blackmon could be traded, given the Jaguars’ recent trade of tackle Eugene Monroe and desire to get more ammunition for draft day.
“When you make a commitment to build it through the draft, to have as many picks as possible is the key,” Caldwell recently told reporters.
Blackmon presents a predicament for both the Jags and any trade partner. He’s one failed test, missed test, diluted test, and/or non-human urine specimen away from a one-year banishment. That makes it harder to value him and, in turn, harder to move him.
Still, the Jags should try to empty the roster of any pre-Caldwell/Bradley players and flip them for draft picks. Though Caldwell painted himself into a two-tone corner by specifically saying running back Maurice Jones-Drew and linebacker Paul Posluszny won’t be traded, we (or at least I) interpreted his message to be aimed at avoid a perception of desperation, which can be created in ways other than, you know, calling every team and asking if they want to do a deal.
Could Blackmon be in play? If he plays well, if someone else needs him badly enough to take on the risk, and if the price is right, the Jags should be willing to move him off the roster even more quickly than they put him back on it after his suspension.