Thursday, July 24, 2014
Jags should cut Justin Blackmon
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has repeatedly said there's no reason to cut suspended wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
He doesn't count against the team's salary cap or the roster limit, and they don't have to pay him, either. Plus, Blackmon's contract is essentially paused, so if he were to eventually return to the field, he'd still owe the Jaguars at least two seasons.
But that was before Blackmon was arrested in Oklahoma and charged with marijuana possession on Wednesday evening, his third arrest involving either alcohol or marijuana. Now it's time for the Jaguars to cut ties with the troubled former first-round pick.
Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley repeatedly have said they care about Blackmon and want him to receive help to get his life in order. But Blackmon has to make the commitment, too, and it's clear that he isn't willing to do that. Being in the NFL's substance abuse program means additional drug testing, and Blackmon either didn't care or has an even bigger problem with substance abuse than many believe.
At some point, what's best for the franchise overrides what's best for a player. It doesn't appear that Blackmon is willing to change, and he has now become an embarrassment to a franchise that is riding a huge swell of momentum and positive energy thanks to EverBank Field renovations and the enthusiasm surrounding draft picks Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson. The best thing for the franchise, at this point, is to cut Blackmon loose.