Why Matt Jones May Turn Out to Be Low-Risk, High-Reward For Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Cincinnati-Bengals-Examiner~y2010m2d12-Cincinnati-Bengals-sign-former-Jacksonville-Jaguars-wide-receiver-Matt-Jones-to-oneyear-deal" title="Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones to a one-year deal">Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones to a one-year deal on Friday in hopes of improving a passing game that ranked 26th overall last season.
He received offers from both the Bengals and Tennessee Titans, but he felt Cincinnati would be a better fit.
After sitting out the 2009 season since no team showed interest in him, there seems to be mixed emotions from fans around the league about the signing because of Jones and his troubled past.
The main reason why he was released by the Jaguars last March was because of his inability to stay out of trouble with the law.
Jones' release came following a drug test that provided evidence for alcohol in his system—which was a violation of a plea agreement that had been reached following his second arrest.
He also received a three-game suspension by the league that season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Now, Jones looks for a fresh start with a Cincinnati team with a reputation for granting troubled players a second chance.
Of course, there's a chance the risk may backfire for the Bengals if Jones is still the same troubled player who continues to run into trouble with the law.
However, what if the move works out in the team's favor?
The Bengals find themselves in a low-risk situation with the hope of a high-reward when it comes to Jones considering they are paying him $700,000—which is slightly above the league minimum.
They're receiving a player who had enough talent and potential to be selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
He already has an advantage with his height at 6'6" and has explosive speed for a player his size. Cincinnati is in need of a deep threat after Chris Henry's death and Jones has the potential to make just as much of an impact, if not more.
If Jones can make an impact for the Bengals' offense next season and become a reliable target for Carson Palmer, it will make another success story for a player receiving a second chance and a fresh start.
Of course if this happens, there's a good chance the Jaguars may feel the same frustration the Chicago Bears once felt.
If any team knows anything about frustration with one of their former troubled players succeeding elsewhere, it's the Bears.
Chicago released Cedric Benson after he saw his fair share of trouble with the law while failing to live up to expectations as a running back.
In his first full season as a starter with the Bengals, Benson ran for 1,251 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games. He even finished with a career-high 189 yards against his former team in a game at Paul Brown Stadium in Week Seven.
For all the Bengals and their fans know, the situation with Jones may work out just as well as it did with Benson. All he has to do is be smart with his decisions and realize how lucky he is to be given a second chance with a team like Cincinnati.
Otherwise, he'll be back in unemployment before he knows it.
Dan Parzych is the Cincinnati Bengals Examiner for Examiner.com.
He is also the founder of WhoDeyBengals.com.
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