Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver 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.”
It’s Blackmon’s third substance-related incident in less than three years.
“I’ve made a mistake and I have no excuse,” he said in a statement. “I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person.”
The league said that Blackmon may participate in the preseason and will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 30, the day after the Jaguars play Indianapolis. Blackmon was a first-round draft choice in 2012 out of Oklahoma State. Last season he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns.
The parents of a Tennessee State football player who died after collapsing during a practice last fall are suing the university for wrongful death.
Wayne Jones III, a 19-year-old walk-on freshman defensive back, died Nov. 7 after collapsing at a team workout.
In the suit filed in Tennessee’s Division of Claims, Wayne Jones Jr. and Sonya Johns say an “unreasonable period of time elapsed before anyone approached him or attempted to provide any help” after their son collapsed in Nashville.