The Redemer Strikes: Matt Jones Signs with Bengals...But No Pacman Yet

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 05:  Matt Jones #18 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on October 5, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Same song and dance.

NFL free agency hasn't even begun, and the Cincinnati Bengals are already making moves.

Today they announced the signing of former Jacksonville wide receiver Matt Jones to a contract in what was first reported by ESPN. It is a one-year deal worth around $700,000.

He also had the Titans interested, but the Bengals ultimately won out.

It is a low risk, high reward-type move like the Cedric Benson and Tank Johnson signings. Both of those worked, so owner Mike Brown figured why not? He gave Chris Henry 1,496 chances and gave Odell Thurman plenty of chances—you know, the guy that got arrested for punching a dude at an amusement park.

The Jones addition doesn't mean they won't get a receiver in the draft or T.O. He's another body. He can probably be as productive as Laveranues Coles, and if he blows in training camp, they cut him. He's cheap, experienced, and is a former first round pick. He'll be 27 in April.

The move doesn't mean that the Bengals are Super Bowl-bound—but it's a start.

But that's not the only troubled Jones that is on the Bengals' radar. Numerous reports state that the one and only Adam "Pacman" Jones has worked out for the men in stripes. The poster boy for what's wrong with the league, Jones has a list of arrests even the Bengals would be impressed by. He has played in Canada and wrestled since his last stint in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008.

Mike Brown thinks he still has something left in the tank. Yes, the Bengals need a talented nickel defender who can return kickoffs and punts. He'll be available at a bargain bin discount. But he was awful for the Cowboys. He was outmuscled by receivers, and his height (5'11") is a big issue.

Then there is the whole "this guy was suspended for all of '07 and didn't play a single game in '09" deal. Sort of a big deal.

Why does this guy get so many chances? He only has four career INTs and has had major issues with fumbles on kick returns.

Because Brown loves being the redeemer. He loves being the guy that turns a troubled man's life around. It's the one thing the Bengals lead the league in.

I like the Matt Jones signing, but Pacman will bring a circus-like vibe to the Bengals. Mike Brown doesn't care. Cheap players + cheap owner + cheap franchise = the redeem team.