Recent reports from ESPN are stating that the Lions and 49ers are taking a serious look at Adam (Pacman) Jones. The former Tennessee Titan, and Dallas Cowboy cornerback was never far from the limelight for all the wrong reasons through out his short but memorable career in the NFL. He was drafted in the 1st round as the 6th overall pick in 2005 by the Titans so Jim Schwartz has personal first hand knowledge working as Jones Defensive coordinator during his years as a Titan. To say Jones has suffered from character issues would be a mild understatement. He spent the entire 2007 season on the sidelines having been suspended by the NFL for “off the field conduct”. No matter where he suits up to play though, he seems to show us flashes of talent that no corner in the NFL has ever shown. By the end of his 2nd year in Tennessee Jones had totaled up a career-high 62 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, 12 deflected passes, 4 interceptions, 130 return yards, one interception touchdown, 14 passes defended, 440 punt return yards and tied for NFL-high with three punt return touchdowns.
At the end of the 2007 season though, Jones became marred in more off the field issues. Issues that mostly included drinking and fighting off the field continued to surface through out the off-season and by the draft it was rumored that he would be cut by the Titans for his off the field behavior issues. Jones was suspended by the NFL on April 10th 2007 and he immediately showed signs of remorse and regret for his decisions, taking out a full page add in the The Tennessean, promising "he'll win back trust" of his teammates and fans." "To my family, teammates, coaches and fans, I recognize that I have lost the right to ask for your patience and understanding," Jones wrote. "However, I will do everything in my power to regain your trust and respect." Unfortunatly for Jones, he never got that chance. His appeals to return to football were met with appeals to keep him suspended and he remained so the whole year. By the off season the Titans were shopping him for a trade.
In 2008 Jones was traded to the cowboys where he was actually assigned body guards who were more like baby sitters in charge of keeping Jones out of trouble. He managed to find a way into trouble though, getting into a fight with one of the bodyguard/baby sitters in a hotel in October of 2008. The police were called, but no arrests were made in what sounded like a drunken fight between the pair. Jones was immediately suspended again, this time for 4 games in 2008. He returned for 2 games in the end of the season but missed much of the late season with a neck injury. After the season in Dallas, he was released from the Cowboys after allegations that he may have been involved in a shooting near a strip club in Las Vegas surfaced.
In 2009 Jones was about to get a shot in the Canadian Football League until he referred to it as The United Football League on the radio and his contract offer was revoked. Subsequently he tried out for a shot with the Bengals in 2009 but wasn’t offered a contract. He again missed the entire season in 2009.
So here we are in 2010. Is Adam Jones finally mature enough to be an NFL caliber player on the field and not destroy everything he works for off the field? Does he deserve a second chance with the Lions? Last year a similar question was brought up about Michael Vick. But I think Jones is a much different case than Vick. Vick made a calculated effort to conspire on a felony level with a dog fighting/gambling ring. Jones is far from that type of guy. He was never found guilty of anything more than fighting, and completely misbehaving at clubs and bars while drunk, was he? Sure there are allegations of being involved in a shooting but lots of NFL players are in those wrong place, wrong time situations and don’t get suspended. Jones to me seems like the kind of guy that might be worth the risk. Obviously Jim Schwartz must know him well having been part of the coaching staff who drafted him. If Jim Schwartz is willing to look at him now, he must give Jones the benefit of the doubt that he can clean up his act or why would he even bother looking at him? Obviously the Lions could desperately use the help at the cornerback position. Should they get someone like Jones, they could address other needs in the draft and use a high draft pick on another position of need.
So give me your comments and vote in the pole. What do you think? Are you willing to give Adam Jones the benefit of the doubt? Does he deserve a second chance with the Lions? In my opinion, he'd be a great pickup as long as the Lions include language in the contract that relieves them from paying him if he continues to have off the field issues, and/or gets suspended by the NFL again.