Coming off a season that saw him suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the third-year wide receiver is eligible for reinstatement in 2014 -- but the Jags aren't banking on his return.
"I think if he comes back, it's a luxury for us," general manager David Caldwell told Around The League on Thursday. "If he doesn't, we have to have a contingency plan. I think we're going to go business as usual. If he comes back, that's a bonus."
Caldwell said the Jaguars haven't been in regular contact with Blackmon, citing "certain rules that we have to abide by" from the NFL Players Association and the league office.
From a bookkeeping angle, Jacksonville can call Blackmon a "luxury" because of the player's unique contract stipulating that the Jaguars can release him without owing another cent. Still, this isn't a roster that can wave farewell to a bona-fide talent.
Before his suspension, Blackmon topped Chris Wesseling's weekly "Making the Leap" list because of his post-catch playmaking ability that popped off the screen during game-tape review. If he doesn't make it back onto the field, Blackmon's absence will be felt heavily by a young team still searching for an anchoring force on the offensive side of the ball.