Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon Out Four Games for Substance Abuse Violation
Justin Blackmon’s latest violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy will cost him money — maybe lots of it.
The league suspended Blackmon for the first four games of the 2013 season for his second violation in less than a year. He will not get paid for the four-week hiatus. Maybe more importantly, the suspension triggers language in his contract that voids future guarantees.
Now, the Jaguars could cut him without having to pay about $10 million that remains on a four-year, $18.5 million contract.
“It’s very disappointing,” general manager Dave Caldwell said on a conference call with reporters. “We understand that this isn’t all going to be an upward trend and we’re going to have setbacks. To be honest with you, things like this are frustrating because it’s an avoidable situation. That’s what’s real concerning and frustrating. At the end of the day, we’re going to have 53 players on our team on opening day and we’re just moving forward and we’re not slowing down.”
It’s Blackmon’s third substance-related incident in less than three years. He was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge in Texas in 2010 after officers caught him speeding on a suburban Dallas highway. The charge was later reduced to an underage alcohol possession charge. A little more than a month after the Jaguars traded up to select the former Oklahoma State star with the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, he was arrested during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Okla., after a breath test allegedly showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit.
That arrest landed him the NFL’s substance-abuse program.
It’s unclear what caused his second violation, but it could have been a failed drug test.