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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news that former Titans and Cowboys defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones worked out with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. Jones played in nine games for the Cowboys in 2008, and was released following the season, not playing in 2009 due to various legal issues relating to violent altercations and alcohol. Still, the Bengals are apparently interested in the defender/special teams returner, which would help bolster their team, which faltered toward the latter end of the latest season. To that end, they also signed former Jaguars receiver Matt Jones to a one year, $700,000 deal.
Jones had his best season in 2006 with the Titans, recording 50 solo tackles and a sack in 15 games. He also returned four interceptions for 130 yards, one of them an 83-yard touchdown return. He returned 20 kicks for 521 yards, and 34 punts for 440 yards. His performance suffered a noticeable dip in quality after his time off, when he played with the Cowboys. Rust would likely continue if he returns with the Bengals, but that is for the Bengals to decide. To help keep his energy up during his 2007 suspension, Jones was also a professional wrestler from August to October with TNA, capturing the organization’s tag team titles.
If he does return with Cincinnati, Pacman will go from chasing Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde to chasing around the likes of Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, Antonio Gates, and Randy Moss. And with only one sack to his name and quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, with more powerful arm action than Goro, would Jones make much of a difference? In all likelihood, he would not, mostly because of rust, but also because of the stigma attached to his personality. Under the microscope like he would be, Manning, Brady, and Rivers would easily be able to pick him apart with the weapons at their disposal and their veteran experience.
Next season is the AFC East’s turn to face the entire AFC North, even though the division winning Pats and Bengals would have faced off anyway. The Bills are usually lacking in performance, and the Dolphins might make things rather interesting for Jones and the Bengals, as would the Jets’ rushing offense, while the Patriots attack strategy would be the most difficult East offense for Jones to deal with. If anything, Jones would do well to attack Brady and Welker, as their inuries have and certainly will affect playing performance in the future. Of course, to be any good at all, Jones will have to remain focused. And if his past extra-curricular activities are any indication, that might be his biggest obstacle.