The Panthers are in dire need of a young receiving threat to pair with Cam Newton. And like Trent Richardson and the Browns, there is another rebuilding team that may consider moving on from a headache in exchange for a draft pick. The guy I have in mind?
6-1, 207 lbs, 4.46 40YD
With 64 catches for 865 yards and 5 TDs, Blackmon was the statistical leader amongst NFL rookie wideouts. When comparing him to all NFL wideouts, he actually finished 12th overall in reception yardage. Doing this with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne platooning as his QB makes this feat even more
impressive. His marquee performance of the year was a 7 catch, 236 yard, 1TD performance in a shootout overtime loss against the Texans last November.
He's young enough until we can still peek at his college production to gauge his ceiling:
2012: 122 receptions for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns
2011: 111 receptions for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns
Also some respectful words from coach Mike Mularkey during his rookie season:
"He's got an edge to him. He's one of these guys who doesn't think he can be covered. That's pretty important at that position with that kind of confidence, that you can line up and dare somebody to try to stop you and believe that you can't be. I like that edge."
The Panthers have needed something like this to pair-up with Cam Newton for a long time.
Due to injury, Blackmon needed groin surgery over the summer. He started training camp on the PUP list, but was cleared to practice in mid-August.
During the pre-season, Blackmon got into it with a Miami cornerback over a tackle that upset most of the Jaguars. Jason Babin intervened when things got heated, but this lead to a confrontation so bad between Blackmon and Babin that MJD ended up escorting Blackmon to the locker room to cool off. New
coach Gus Bradley met with both separately on a later date and played it off as no big deal. He said he was pleased with what Justin was saying about the situation.
He has two DUI arrests under his belt. One was in Texas in 2010 during his college years. The other was just two months after he was drafted in 2012, back in Oklahoma. His blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit, enough for him to be charged with an "aggravated" DUI.
Then just this past May he was suspended the first four games of this season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
His statement afterward:
"I have made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for
putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and preseason with my team, and during the suspension, I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars
when I return. "I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team."
This event actually triggered language in Blackmon's contract where they can now cut him, and be off of the hook for the rest of his salary. If that's the case, then maybe they would want to get what they can for him to build for their future, cut ties, and move on.
Obviously receiver is a huge need for the Panthers. But with their myriad of offensive line and secondary issues, they may need to use their early draft picks on offensive linemen or defensive backs. Getting a talented receiver at a discount rate would be a coup. The girl is fine, but she does have some serious, serious baggage. So what would be your breaking point for the troubled wideout? Honestly if it were me, I'd be all in to give up a 3rd rounder for him.