Wide receiver Justin Blackmon was the Jaguars’ first draft pick after Shad Khan bought the team in late 2011 and it’s fair to say that the pick hasn’t worked out as planned.
Blackmon, the fifth-overall pick in 2012, served a four-game suspension to start last season and has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL since its midpoint due to violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. Khan addressed Blackmon’s situation during a state of the franchise talk on Tuesday and said he hopes that Blackmon takes advantage of the resources offered by the league and the NFLPA to avoid further trouble because there’s not much anyone else can do.
“I think it’s an absolute tragedy … I think he’s such a talented guy,” Khan said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “The best years [are] ahead of him but after a while it’s out of your control.”
Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell has said that the team does not expect to have Blackmon back this year even though he’s eligible to apply for reinstatement before the season starts. If he does return, the Jaguars will need to find new locker space for him as DiRocco reports that undrafted free agent quarterback Stephen Morris has been given the locker that Blackmon used in the team’s locker room.