To show just how quickly they can leave you for dead in this league, look at what is going down with Justin Blackmon right now.
Remember him? I’ll bet most of you non-Oklahoma State or Jacksonville Jaguars fans have no idea what the hell is happening with Blackmon right now, which illustrates my point.
We’re talking about a guy who was the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft just 26 months ago. Fifth overall! Two offseasons ago! I know Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne were also top-six picks that spring, and both of them are flirting with becoming busts too, but it’s hard to believe how quickly a man who was drafted just a few spots behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III — who just 18 months ago was coming off an 865-yard rookie season — has disappeared.
I suppose I should tell you now what Blackmon is up to. The 24-year-old, as many of you know, is yet to be reinstated as he serves the second substance abuse-related suspension of his short NFL career. Beyond that? Who knows.
Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union spoke recently to members of Blackmon’s “inner circle” and wasn’t able to determine much if anything about Blackmon’s progress, physically or mentally, or his whereabouts. Apparently, his teammates also remain in the dark.
At the Jaguars’ request, Marcedes Lewis intended to take Blackmon under his wing this offseason, but the veteran tight end was unable to make contact after Blackmon changed his cell phone number.
What concerns Lewis most is that Blackmon will take on the challenge of conquering his issues with minimal help, thinking he can do it alone.
“Me, I know how it is when you have outside issues,” said Lewis, a reference to his previous legal battles for custody and visitation time with his daughter. “I can be the first one to tell you it’s not good handling it by yourself. Sometimes, you need your teammates to lean on, your coaches and friends. I hope Justin is doing OK and trying to get some guidance.
“You never know what’s going on unless you’re that person. We can sit here and make as many predictions as we want. We’ll never know until, hopefully, he gets back, whenever that may be.”
Blackmon’s skills are undeniable, which is why the Jags are keeping the door at least partially open. But unless he can get clean and emerge from this in the very near future, the kid will likely soon be forgotten by a league that has a very short memory.