Former first round draft pick Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and will miss the rest of the season. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Nov. 1, it could have been much worse for Blackmon:
“The eight-game suspension strongly suggests, based on the language of the substance-abuse policy, that the penalty was the result of a negotiation between the NFL and the NFLPA.
"Blackmon, as we understand it, was in Stage 3 of the league’s substance-abuse program. Violation of the policy while in Stage Three ordinarily results in a banishment with the ability to re-apply after a calendar year. The union and/or Blackmon’s representatives apparently persuaded the league to trim the return date in half.”
Blackmon had already missed the first four games of this season because he was suspended for the same offense. The former Oklahoma State standout can apply for reinstatement at the beginning of the 2014 NFL season.
Blackmon is on thin ice and another failed drug test will only make the punishment more severe. During his suspension he is subject to be randomly tested up to ten times per month. Blackmon must prove that he can remain clean if he has any hopes of returning back to the field.
Blackmon was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. The Jaguars knew he had problems off the field and still decided to trade up and select him. As a rookie he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and 5 touchdowns.
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