“Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse ...”
As I read this official team statement Friday, all I could think was, “You've got to be kidding me.” That thought was then followed by, “I can’t believe this,” which was soon replaced with “No, I can believe this.”
In my opinion, Blackmon’s decisions that have ultimately led to an indefinite suspension from the NFL are decisions made by a selfish individual who has yet to learn how to handle fame and fortune. And while he should probably never play another game in a Jaguars jersey, I think he will. Here’s why…
First off, Blackmon is a hell of a talent despite his personal issues. If he can get his off the field troubles straightened out, he’s already proven that he can take care of his business on the field. In the NFL, talent forgives all, even multiple offenses. If this organization truly believes that Blackmon can get his act together, I believe they will give him another chance. This franchise is so devoid of talent, they need playmakers that they can build around for the future. (Again, this is contingent on Blackmon pulling it together.)
On the flipside, think about this: if the Jaguars decide to waive Blackmon and he does pull it together, what happens if he gets re-instated and another team snatches him up? What if after getting snatched up by another team, he puts up ridiculous numbers? The only talk that will come from Jaguars fans then will be about how Blackmon could be putting up those numbers in Jacksonville. It does this team no good to waive him at this point.
Blackmon is already on strike 2, meaning if he screws up again, he’s out of the league permanently. Thus, if Jacksonville brings him back and he does have another slip up, you don’t run the risk of him revitalizing his career with another team once you part ways with him. On occasion, you see players screw up their career with one team and then find redemption with another. That wouldn't be the case for Blackmon.
Finally, if nothing else, bring Blackmon back and trade him. Get something for him. Dave Caldwell has continually made it clear that he will rebuild this team through the draft; so get picks. Again, Blackmon’s talent is evident. Despite his off the field issues, I do believe a team would take a chance on him simply based on his abilities on the field. If that is the case, it’s a win for Jacksonville.
Again, all of these scenarios are based on Justin Blackmon getting help, following the steps to get clean and fight whatever issues he’s facing, and then being re-instated by the league. There are a lot of big “ifs” in these hypotheticals. But IF Blackmon can get help, fight his demons, stay clean, and get re-instated, I think he can once again find success on the field; and I still think he can find it here in Jacksonville.
If you’d like to weigh in on the Justin Blackmon situation or any Jaguar related topic, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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