JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has repeatedly said there's no reason to cut suspended wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

He doesn't count against the team's salary cap or the roster limit, and they don't have to pay him, either. Plus, Blackmon's contract is essentially paused, so if he were to eventually return to the field, he'd still owe the Jaguars at least two seasons.

Blackmon
Blackmon
But that was before Blackmon was arrested in Oklahoma and charged with marijuana possession on Wednesday evening, his third arrest involving either alcohol or marijuana. Now it's time for the Jaguars to cut ties with the troubled former first-round pick.

Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley repeatedly have said they care about Blackmon and want him to receive help to get his life in order. But Blackmon has to make the commitment, too, and it's clear that he isn't willing to do that. Being in the NFL's substance abuse program means additional drug testing, and Blackmon either didn't care or has an even bigger problem with substance abuse than many believe.

At some point, what's best for the franchise overrides what's best for a player. It doesn't appear that Blackmon is willing to change, and he has now become an embarrassment to a franchise that is riding a huge swell of momentum and positive energy thanks to EverBank Field renovations and the enthusiasm surrounding draft picks Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson. The best thing for the franchise, at this point, is to cut Blackmon loose.
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Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has been arrested a third time, this time in Edmond, Oklahoma, where police have charged him with possession of marijuana.

Several Oklahoma television stations, including KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City, reported that Edmond Police Department officers who stopped Blackmon for a traffic violation could smell the odor of marijuana coming from his car. Police searched the car and found marijuana and took Blackmon into custody.

He has posted bail and has been released from custody.

Blackmon is currently serving an indefinite suspension after his third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season because of his second violation, which occurred sometime in the offseason after the 2012 season in which he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns.

Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he sees no reason for his team to cut ties with Blackmon.

"We want him to get help he needs," Khan said.

This is Blackmon's third arrest and second in Oklahoma. He was arrested in Texas in 2010 on a misdemeanor DUI charge (later reduced to underage alcohol possession) after police officers caught him speeding outside of Dallas. He was arrested again in June 2012 during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a breath test allegedly showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit.

That arrest put him in the NFL's substance abuse program.

"Right now, all I can say is I'm just praying that he can get the help that he needs,'' Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Thursday.

Teammates seemed hardly surprised by Blackmon's latest transgression.

"It's just a difficult situation,'' quarterback Chad Henne


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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The battle for the Jacksonville Jaguars' two starting receiver spots is one of the training camp battles to watch in the AFC South.

CBSSports.com's Josh Katzowitz writes that it will be interesting to watch veteran Cecil Shorts battle rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson to be the starters on opening day. Shorts is coming off a career-high 66 catches and is entering the final year of his contract. Lee and Robinson were both second-round draft picks, but Katzowitz gives the edge to Lee because he is two years older than the 20-year-old Robinson.

"Either way, don't look for either to become a breakout star this year," Katzowitz writes.

Here are some additional pieces of Jaguars-related content from around the Web in our Reading the Coverage feature:

The Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran previews training camp with five players to watch and five objectives.

Former Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin has signed a contract with the New York Jets.

If you wanted to attend Monday's practice at Bartram Trail High School, you might be out of luck. The team has closed registration.

The Jaguars made a minor transaction on Wednesday.

NFL.com's Gil Brandt places defensive end Chris Clemons in his group of "solid starters" in his evaluation of the league's edge rushers.

WJXT TV-4 sports director Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper bring you Part 2 of their training camp preview podcast.

Jags' Ace Sanders banned 4 games

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The NFL has suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

The league handed down the punishment Wednesday, one day after Sanders disclosed it was coming and said he would not appeal.

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Sanders said "personal issues" caused his misstep. He said he has "been dealing with a lot of stuff, just with life and family and a lot of issues going on."

A second-year pro from South Carolina, Sanders said he plans to seek counseling and not rehab.

Sanders will be eligible to return to the team's active roster Sept. 29, after sitting out games against Philadelphia, Washington, Indianapolis and San Diego. He is eligible to participate in training camp and preseason games.


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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ace Sanders’ situation is the latest in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ignominious history of receivers dealing with substance-abuse issues.

Sanders
Sanders, who said Tuesday night that he is facing a four-game suspension for what a source close to the team confirmed was his second violation, is the sixth receiver in team history to have been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse program. That’s a significantly high number at one position considering the franchise is only entering its 20th season.

Here’s a look at the other five:

Justin Blackmon: The team’s first-round pick in 2012 is currently serving an indefinite suspension for his third violation of the substance abuse program. The NFL announced the suspension during the Jaguars’ bye week in 2013, which came after the team’s 0-8 start. Blackmon was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season because of his second violation, which occurred sometime in the offseason after his rookie season. Blackmon was arrested in Texas in 2010 on a misdemeanor DUI charge (later reduced to underage alcohol possession) after police officers caught him speeding outside of Dallas. He was arrested again in May 2012 during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a breath test allegedly showed his blood-alcohol content to be three times the legal limit. That arrest put him in the NFL’s substance abuse program. Blackmon has denied that he has a substance abuse problem and said he doesn’t care about the way he’s perceived by the media and fans.

Matt Jones: The Jaguars’ first-round pick in 2005 was arrested in early July 2008 after a police officer in Fayetteville, Arksansas, allegedly saw him inside a parked car cutting up cocaine with a credit card. A search of the car revealed a white substance, which Jones admitted was cocaine, and a jar with possible marijuana residue. He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. The NFL suspended Jones for three weeks. Jones appealed, but the NFL upheld the suspension in December and Jones missed the final three games of the season. He still had the best season of his career: 65 catches for 761 yards and two touchdowns. Jones failed a drug and alcohol screening in March 2009, which violated terms of his probation. The Jaguars released him several days later.

Jimmy Smith: The all-time leading receiver in Jaguars history was arrested three times, the first coming in November 2001. He was arrested after a traffic stop and tests later showed he had tested positive for cocaine, but he did not face any charges. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2003 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He publicly acknowledged an addiction and spent time in a treatment facility. He abruptly retired in May 2006. Smith was arrested on a DUI charge in 2008 and again in 2009 after drugs, including crack cocaine, were found in his car after a traffic stop. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and again entered a treatment facility. He was arrested in Mississippi in February 2010 and charged with possession of cocaine, earning probation and having a 10-year sentence suspended after pleading guilty. He was arrested again in December 2012 when police found a rifle in his car during another traffic stop, which violated his probation. He was sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in July 2013 and placed on house arrest.

R. Jay Soward: Despite having some off-field issues in his career at USC, the Jaguars took Soward with their first-round pick in 2000. Unlike the other players on this list, Soward’s problems with the Jaguars stemmed from alcohol abuse, although he later admitted that he smoked marijuana regularly in college. The NFL announced in 2000 that Soward would be suspended for the first four games of the 2001 season. In July 2001, Soward was arrested in Orlando after threatening two police officers. He participated in training camp and the preseason but the NFL announced that Soward had again violated the league’s substance abuse policy and added six games to his suspension. He hasn’t played since.

Reggie Williams: The Jaguars’ first-round pick in 2004 was arrested three times on drug charges. In January 2006, Williams was arrested in Jacksonville and charged with possession of marijuana, for which he entered a pretrial intervention program. He was arrested again in February 2009 in Houston and charged with DWI and possession of marijuana. Both charges were eventually dismissed. In April 2009, Houston police arrested Williams on felony drug charges after an altercation with police after he refused to leave a bar. Police Tasered Williams and found a bag of what appeared to be cocaine in his pocket. The Jaguars did not re-sign Williams after the 2008 season. He caught 189 passes for 2,322 yards and 18 touchdowns in his four years in Jacksonville.

DE Jason Babin, Jets agree

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
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[+] EnlargeJason Babin
Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY SportsJason Babin led the Jaguars with 7.5 sacks last season and has 62.5 in his career.

Veteran defensive end Jason Babin has agreed to a contract with the New York Jets, the team announced.

Babin agreed to a two-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini. The agreement includes a team option in the second year, NFL Network reported.

Babin, 34, had 40 tackles and 7.5 sacks last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, his highest totals since a breakout, 18-sack season in 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"You can't have enough pass rushers," coach Rex Ryan said as the team checked into training camp in Cortland, New York. "He is a relentless guy, (with) a phenomenal motor. Obviously, he's got a history of being able to get to the quarterback. He's going to bring a lot to the table in that regard, for sure.

"You watch the tape from last year, and he's got plenty left in the tank."

Babin is expected to join the team Thursday for its first practice.


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Jaguars' under-the-radar players to watch

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
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Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco talks about three under-the-radar guys to keep an eye on as the team heads into training camp.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There is a lot of optimism that the Jacksonville Jaguars are heading in the right direction in the second year of the David Caldwell/Gus Bradley regime.

The Jaguars have rebuilt both lines, drafted a potential franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles (although he isn't expected to play much, if at all, this season), and also added several young playmakers. However, things point more toward 2015 as the season the team is a factor in the AFC South, writes the Associated Press' Mark Long.

Here are some additional pieces of Jaguars-related content from around the Web in our Reading the Coverage feature:

The Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran writes that the Jaguars are steadfast in their stance that Bortles is not going to be the starter.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco has the Jaguars 30th in his latest power rankings.

WJXT TV-4 sports director Sam Kouvaris and Cole Pepper bring you Part 1 of their training camp preview podcast.

Here is my take on Ace Sanders' situation: Putting his football career on hold is a sign he's serious about getting help.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The first step in beating any kind of problem with substance abuse is admitting that a problem exists.

Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders is doing that.

Sanders
It was certainly big news that Sanders admitted on Tuesday night that he’s facing a four-game suspension, which a source close to the team confirmed was for a second violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. But the bigger story is how Sanders has chosen to deal with his issue.

He’s putting his football career on hold and devoting his complete attention to making sure he gets the help he needs. NFL rules allow Sanders to participate in training camp and the preseason and to also participate in team meetings during his suspension, but Sanders has chosen instead to get counseling.

It’s not a route that most players choose. Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said earlier this week that he expects receiver Josh Gordon to report to training camp on Friday and be on the field despite the fact that he’s facing what could be an indefinite suspension for his latest violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon remained with the team throughout training camp, the preseason, and his four-game suspension at the beginning of the 2013 season. The team also got special permission from the NFL to allow Blackmon to travel to the West Coast for a week with the rest of the team between road games at Oakland and Seattle. All that was done in the hope that being around his teammates and coaches would help Blackmon better handle the suspension.

It obviously didn’t work because Blackmon was caught again after four games and is now suspended indefinitely. Remember, too, Blackmon's repeated denials that he has a problem with alcohol or substance abuse.

Sanders, though, believes counseling is more important than trying to hold onto his spot as the Jaguars’ No. 2 receiver, which he will undoubtedly now lose to either Marqise Lee or Allen Robinson, the Jaguars’ second-round draft picks. That’s why he won’t be on the field when the Jaguars begin camp on Friday.

"This is just solely something that I felt I needed to do," Sanders said. "… I’ve made some mistakes that I do regret, that I do honestly regret. I could have handled situations a little differently. I’m still just dealing with it. I’m trying to be a better person and a better teammate for everybody and everybody around me.

"I decided to go seek that help, get that attention that I need. Hopefully, somebody can help me out and I should be okay. I should be fine. I just want to get better and come back and be ready to play."

Sanders was poised throughout a roughly 10-minute conference call with reporters -- which he initiated -- but he is undoubtedly worried about his future. But it seems he’s more concerned about his health and his family, which includes an infant daughter, than his football career. That should be an indication that he really does want to get help.

That doesn’t excuse the fact that Sanders made a stupid decision, one which clearly impacts everyone else on the team. The offense had few proven receivers and it now has one less and will have to rely even more upon two rookies.

But give Sanders credit for publicly acknowledging his mistake and apologizing. Give him even more for recognizing he has a problem and making getting better the No. 1 priority.
[+] EnlargeAce Sanders
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesJaguars wideout Ace Sanders says he's unlikely to participate in any part of training camp.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders is taking a leave of absence to deal with what he called personal issues, but he also admitted he is facing a four-game suspension, which a source close to the team confirmed is for a second violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Sanders said he probably will not participate in any part of training camp, which opens Friday, and will instead seek counseling.

"I decided to seek the help that I need," Sanders said. "Hopefully somebody can help me out, and I should be fine. It's really like counseling, just from anybody who can really give me some insight on some personal issues that I have. Give me some type of ground that I can at least start from and figure out everything that's going on."

Sanders caught 51 passes as a rookie in 2013 and was expected to compete with rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson for a starting spot alongside Cecil Shorts. He said he will not appeal the suspension.


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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without three starters when training camp begins Friday.

The team announced Tuesday that it had placed receiver Ace Sanders on the non-football injury list and that it had also placed cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) on the physically unable to perform list.

As expected, the team also placed rookie cornerback Aaron Colvin on the PUP list. Colvin, whom the Jaguars drafted in the fourth round in May, suffered a torn ACL during Senior Bowl practices in January.

Sanders, who caught 51 passes as a rookie in 2013, was one of seven receivers to miss time during OTAs and minicamps because of injuries.

Watson, whom the team signed as a free agent in March, missed nearly all of OTAs and minicamp with the groin injury. He is the starter at the team's new OTTO linebacker position, which replaces the strongside linebacker. LaRoy Reynolds took the bulk of the snaps at that spot in Watson's place and likely will continue to do so when camp begins.

Ball started 15 games last season and led the Jaguars with 14 pass breakups. His absence probably means more work for second-year corners Demetrius McCray and Jeremy Harris.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars open training camp on Friday and will have 13 practices open to the public. For your planning purposes, here's a schedule of the open workouts (all times are ET):

Friday: 9:55 a.m.
Saturday: 9:55 a.m.
Sunday: 9:55 a.m.
Monday: 6 p.m. (Bartram Trail High School)
Wednesday, July 30: 9:55 a.m. (first day in full pads)
Thursday, July 31: 9:55 a.m.
Friday, Aug. 1: 9:55 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 2: 6:45 p.m. (scrimmage at EverBank Field)
Monday, Aug. 4: 9:55 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 5: 9:55 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 6: 9:55 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 11: 9:55 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 12: 9:55 a.m.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- ESPN's Ron Jaworski created some buzz recently when he ranked Matt Cassel last in his annual quarterback ratings.

Henne
One thing that may have gone unnoticed by non-Jacksonville Jaguars fans, however, is the fact that the second-best quarterback in the AFC South wears black and teal Insider. Chad Henne came in 27th in Jaworski's rankings, but that was higher than two other QBs in the division.

Tennessee's Jake Locker was rated as 29th and Houston's Ryan Fitzpatrick 31st. Jaworski ranked Indianapolis' Andrew Luck a surprising fifth, ahead of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (sixth), Atlanta's Matt Ryan (eighth), and the New York Giants' Eli Manning (11th).

As for Henne, Jaworski calls him a "solid NFL quarterback" who doesn't move well and needs a clean pocket to really thrive.

Here are some additional pieces of Jaguars-related content from around the Web in our Reading the Coverage feature:

National Football Post's Greg Gabriel presents his Jaguars season preview.

Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab writes the Jaguars still have a long way to go.

EA Sports released its "NFL Madden 15" rookie ratings and Blake Bortles was the video game's top-rated rookie. The Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the ratings are compiled.

Bortles is 18th in jersey sales from April 1-July 17.

The Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran reviews the past 7 1/2 months of Jaguars news. He also details what should be realistic expectations for defensive end Andre Branch.

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