New York, NY
The NFL has suspended Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
"I've made a mistake and I have no excuse," said Blackmon, who will be eligible to return to the team Sept. 30. "I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation."
"I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person," added Blackmon, who will lose $289,754 in base salary over those four weeks.
He is also expected to lose more as the suspension will likely void almost $11 million in remaining guaranteed payouts over the rest of his four-year contract.
The league did not divulge details how Blackmon violated the policy due to confidentiality rules but it takes repeat offenses to incur a suspension.
Drafted fifth overall by the Jaguars in 2012, Blackmon had 64 receptions for 865 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season.
Without Blackmon, the Jaguars will rely on Cecil Shorts III, who led the team in receiving yards (979) and touchdowns (7), veterans Jordan Shipley and Mohamed Massaquoi.
The team also drafted former South Carolina receiver Ace Sanders in the fourth round of last week's draft.
Last June, Blackmon was arrested during a traffic stop in Stillwater after a breath test allegedly showed his blood-alcohol content to be three times the legal limit.
An Oklahoma judge accepted Blackmon's plea and imposed a deferred sentence of one year. As part of the plea, Blackmon had to pay a $500 fine, $100 to a drug abuse and treatment fund and complete 50 hours of community service.
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