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Jags GM: Justin Blackmon's career might be over

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Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell is finally breaking his silence on troubled wide receiver Justin Blackmon, and it doesn't look promising for the former top-5 pick.

In fact, Caldwell thinks Blackmon's career is over.

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"I have not heard anything and I guess I harbor a little bit of hope, but realistically I think when you're away from the game for two-and-a-half years what you were once is not what you probably will be," Caldwell said, via ESPN.com. "Your skills do erode and especially if you're not staying in tip-top shape and you're not in football shape.

"I don't know what to expect but I would say common sense would probably be if you haven't played football in two-and-a-half years apparently that's not a priority for you."

Blackmon has been suspended three times by the NFL for violating their policy on substances of abuse. He hasn't appeared in a game or on field at a Jaguars practice since the midway point of the 2013 season.

When he was on the field, the former Oklahoma State star was a difference maker even in a mediocre Jaguars offense. During his rookie season, he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns. In an abbreviated 2013 campaign, he averaged more than 100 yards per game. In each of his first two seasons he had a touchdown catch of sixty yards or more.

Now, though, playing football is probably the least of Blackmon's worries as he tries to put his life back together.

Blackmon is the latest in a string of franchise-crushing draft picks that have completely altered the last decade of football in Jacksonville. Between 2003 and 2013, their first-round picks were as follows:

2003: No. 7 overall: QB Byron Leftwich

2004: No. 9 overall: WR Reggie Williams

2005: No. 21 overall: WR Matt Jones

2006: No. 28 overall: TE Marcedes Lewis

2007: No. 21 overall: S Reggie Nelson

2008: No. 8 overall: DE Derrick Harvey

2009: No. 8 overall: T Eugene Monroe

2010: No. 10 overall: DT Tyson Alualu

2011: No. 10 overall: QB Blaine Gabbert

2012: No. 5 overall: WR Justin Blackmon

This is just a small portion of the absolute mess Caldwell inherited as general manager when he took over in 2013 and has taken steps to try and plug in another franchise receiver. But his loss is something the team will feel for years, like so many of their misses.

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