Reporters asked Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley about the future of Justin Blackmon shortly after the team elected to trade up and select Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson in the tail end of the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. That selection came just 22 picks after the Jaguars added USC receiver Marqise Lee, creating a new-look receiving corps that might not figure to include Blackmon.
"I was hoping it would be better than where it's going but we'll see," Bradley said of Blackmon. "We haven't heard much and it doesn't sound like it's going in the right direction."
Not exactly the ringing endorsement you want to hear for a player trying to recover from multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Facing an indefinite suspension, Caldwell told reporters that the Jaguars have given up hope on the 2012 first round pick returning to the field for the team in 2014.
So why not release Blackmon now and be done with the final stain on the organization left by former general manager Gene Smith?
"We can't," Caldwell said.
Until he's reinstated by the league, the Jaguars are unable to release Blackmon. So they did the next best thing: Completely revamp the receiving corps to move on without him offensively.
"I feel better now at the wide receiver spot," Bradley said. "It's important for our players to know it's not for 2015. We've got to take advantage of this time now. I think the addition of these two guys makes a statement that we're trying to get better now."
The Jaguars offense will now feature Lee and Robinson joining a wide receiver corps that already featured Cecil Shorts III and Ace Sanders. Players like Mike Brown, Tandon Doss, Jeremy Ebert and Kerry Taylor will also compete for spots on the final roster.