Jaguars Justin Blackmon: Is He Worth The Trouble?
Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested for the third time on the night of July 23rd, 2014 in Edmond Oklahoma for marijuana possession and a driving violation. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the police report included an open admission of guilt from Blackmon, who was apparently smoking a marijuana blunt while driving. Blackmon is already under indefinite suspension by the NFL for his previous issues with substance abuse.
With his pro football career essentially on pause right now, it is clear that the 24 year-old Blackmon is not making the most of his spare time. However, I truly feel bad for the young man because none of his previous run-ins with the law have been violent in nature. Instead, Blackmon's previous legal troubles have only been hurting himself. In 2010, Blackmon was arrested for misdemeanor DUI, and in 2012, he was arrested for aggravated DUI.
I was a huge fan of Justin Blackmon when he was drafted 5th overall in 2012 out of Oklahoma State University. At one point, Blackmon's super-human abilities on the gridiron made me believe that he was even a better pro prospect than his former college teammate Dez Bryant. During his brief NFL career, Blackmon has shown signs that he can be every bit as productive as his college counterpart Bryant, who now stars as the leading receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Blackmon has produced 1,280 yards receiving and caught six touchdowns in 20 career games despite Jacksonville's woeful quarterback situation.
While it is obvious that Blackmon is a supremely talented individual, it is also obvious that his priorities are not focused on his own life, or the game of football for that matter. Therefore, what message would it send to the rest of the Jaguars organization if a player such as Blackmon was still a member of the team? The Jaguars are in the midst of trying to repair their image as a perennial doormat in the AFC, and need players who are 100% committed to the cause.
By drafting second-round picks Marquise Lee of USC and Allen Robinson of Penn State, Jacksonville has already begun planning for their future without Blackmon. As far as I'm concerned, this latest transgression should put the final nail in the coffin for Blackmon's career in Jacksonville. If Blackmon were to remain on the team for any length of time, his self-destructive pattern of behavior would make him a liability to the Jaguars franchise moving forward.
I am all for second chances, and I do believe that Blackmon should eventually be afforded an opportunity to redeem himself, just not right now, and certainly not with the Jaguars.