Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Aug 2008

NFL Reinstates Adam Jones

Adam Jones has been cleared by the NFL to play regular season games. Jones had been allowed to practice with the Cowboys and play in their preseason games, but wasn't eligible for regular season action until now.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 28 Aug 2008

32 comments, Last at 29 Aug 2008, 8:06pm by Kevin 11


by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:16pm

I haven't been following. Has Jones kept his nose clean like he was supposed to, or is this a case of Jerry Jones' money and influence getting him cleared to play?

by Sandman (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:18pm

This is a disgrace, he's a thug.

But he's cleaned up his act, so everyone deserves a second chance.

Looks like a good trade for Dallas now.

But it's only a matter of time before he does something else stupid and gets banned for all eternity.

Have I covered everything yet?

by drichters (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:22pm

There at least has been nothing negative reported regarding off-field behavior. On field he has been covering primarily Owens (as shown in Hard Knocks) and has been repeatedly burned. Bot Owens would be doing that to anyone.

by Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabbadu (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:22pm

According to PFT, he doesn't seem to have learned much...


by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:24pm

2. You forgot: "Hurray! I'm going to a strip club tonight to celebrate this amazing news!".


by AndyB (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:27pm

#5: I believe they are called "skrip clubs".

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:27pm

4. From PFT: they’re still the only team in the NFL that hasn’t had an incident involving the long arm of the law since we started tracking arrests on a daily basis. Then again, maybe they’re due.

Great, so now on top of PFP predicting injuries for the Cowboys, PFT is predicting more arrests. At this rate, if the team doesn't somehow get sucked into a tear in the space-time continuum, I'd be pleased.

by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:45pm


How does the NFL's behavior policy help anything? All it does it force the team that invest a high draft pick (Tennessee re: Jones, Chicago re: Tank Johnson) to cut their promising young players, while a team that made no investment at all (Dallas) gets to collect the rewards of employing two talented players? This is complete bull crap and must be changed. I challenge anyone to argue that this system is fair.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 4:45pm

If Goodell really wants to set an example, he needs to be ready to penalize Dallas if (or when) Pacman thugs it up again.

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 5:07pm

8. Exactly what part of the system is unfair? Tank Johnson was suspended for 8 games and thus cut. He was signed as a free agent, served his suspension, then joined the team.

Pacman Jones, I can see where you might have a problem if you feel that the Comish would never have reinstated Pacman if the Titans didn't relinquish their rights. But I'm not sure that is the case.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 5:17pm

I have no proof of this one way or the other, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Jones' chances for reinstatement are higher as a Cowboy than they would be as a Titan (or, for that matter, a Bengal or Bear), all other things being equal.

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 5:25pm

11. I wouldn't be suprised either, especially as the Cowboys have shown a better record in terms of player arrests as the other teams that you have mentioned. Pacman has a far greater chance of staying clean and not embarrassing the Comish on the Cowboys as the other teams you've mentioned. Except maybe the Titans, who, it can be argued, had their hand forced by the league.

I bet the Patriots wouldn't have had much trouble getting him activated either.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 6:00pm

Wait, people are surprised Pacman's been reinstated? It was obvious from the beginning they were going to let him back in. Tons of guys in the NFL have legal problems, the NFL can't ust ban a bunch of them.

As far as future behavior, Pacman really sounds like he's got his head square, but who knows? Either way, the Cowboys gave up practically nothing for him. Amazing pickup by Jerry Jones for an All-Pro caliber player if he can control himself.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 7:17pm

So we get to find out what happens if you give an idiot enough rope to hang themselves. Can't wait.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 7:29pm


That's an interesting point. In a sense, it's rewarding organizations that have shown good character judgement and only taken on problem players that they could successfully rehabilitate. You're right--New England does have a pretty good record of getting malcontents to be straight shooters, as does Dallas. Whereas Cincy, Chicago, some other teams...not so much. I was referring to the possibility that Dallas and New England are major revenue producers with powerful owners, and hence maybe could put pressure on Goddell from that standpoint, but your point about them having good reputations is valid. So in a sense, it is fairer than it seems?

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 8:03pm

15. That was my point, yea. I don't know exactly what leverage a high-revenue owner would have over the league, since revenue sharing and all that is all set already. But there could be something to that angle, I won't deny it (though I will object to it).

by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 8:54pm

In that case, we should award three Lombardi trophies every year. One to the team that wins the super bowl, and one to New England and Dallas because those guys are totally awesome when it comes to rehabilitating players. In fact the latter two ought to be more highly respected because life is more important than football!

by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 9:03pm

Someone's a little envious.

by Dice (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 10:40pm

Can't wait until he crashes and burns. Then Goodell can boot him out of the league for good.

by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 10:40pm

I'm a Redskins fan.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 08/28/2008 - 11:47pm

Adam Jones... Adam Jones? The name, while not rhyming with Dret Harve, sounds strangely familiar.

Is he perhaps, the sophisticated, erudite raconteur who, being a BIG fan of palindromes, goes into brothels and introduces himself to the lady in charge by saying "Madam, I'm Adam."

Yeah, that's the fellow. Then he makes it rain.

by Stevie (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:12am

If Tank, Pacman or Henry get arrested this year Goodell will have to take away a draft pick. A 5th or 6th would set the right example I think.

by Rex Grossman: Eyebrows of DOOM! (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:16am

Anyone remember when Goodell's policy was being touted as something that would put the fear in players and cause the number of incidents to go down? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Goodell's "new sheriff in town" approach is less about solving the problem (which would have to include the college level, where entitlement really starts to take root) and more about looking tough and making the fans feel good. I'm seeing more and more fanbases complain about how inconsistent he is with his rulings.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 10:01am

". I’m seeing more and more fanbases complain about how inconsistent he is with his rulings."

Strange. I haven't seen anyone complain except on this board.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 11:24am

Over a year ago, before Jones was suspended, I said there was no point intrying to appease the anti-Jones camp because they're largely a group of unappeasable cryabies.

Jones getting punted for over a year for arrests without convictions is over the top, and the first order of the day for whomoever takes over the NFLPA should be to negotiate a code of conduct where Goodell isn't a judge, jury, and executioner that makes up the rules as he goes along.

Goodell's NFL is like that old Alfred Hitchcock episodes where a couple si driving through a small town, and gest pulled over by a cop for speeding. The cop arrests tehm, and they go to trial. Turns out the same cop is also the judge. And the mayor.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 11:58am

If Pacman (or Tank, or Chris Henry) contrive to get themselves arrested again, having basically dragged the NFL's name through the mud, strip clubs, rap sheets, survivalist arsenals etc, then they should be thrown out of the league. Permanently and with immediate effect. Then the team who signed the doofus should lose at least a second round pick and for my mind a first. These three guys have all shown (at the very least) extremely poor judgement and the teams that enable them, indeed bring them back into the NFL know exactly what they are doing and deserve to be punished should their decision backfire on them. The idea behind a personal conduct penalty is to prevent the NFL's image being associated with criminal behaviour. By bringing players who have demonstrated an inability to stay out of trouble back into the league these teams are jeopardising that aim. If they get in trouble again Goodell should throw the book at the teams as well as the players.

by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:19pm

26. But why stop with just those 3? What about the Eagles and Mike Patterson? The skins and Fred Smoot? Pittsburgh and Santonio Holmes? The Giants and Reuben Droughns? The Seahawks and Lofa Tatupu? Colts/Harrison and Kenton Keith?

I could go on. Maybe those guys haven't tarnished the NFL's image as much... but surely teams should be punished for having repeat offenders? If the Cowboys are risking a 2nd round pick by employing Adam Jones, shouldn't the Steelers at least risk a 5th rounder for employing Holmes, who was arrested twice in a month before even playing a down in the NFL?

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 1:55pm


My reason for those three as against other players is that those three have all behaved sufficiently poorly on a consistent basis for a long enough period of time to get themselves thrown off an NFL team. In the case of all three the team who cut them for poor behaviour could have used the player, but cut them on what are basically disciplinary grounds. Knowing all this the Cowboys and (somewhat unbeleivably) the Bengals decided that they didn't care about the way they had behaved and brought them back into the NFL anyway. Maybe people do deserve a shot at redemption, but if the Cowboys want to roll the dice on these guys (and get players for the expenditure of minimal resources) then there should be a penalty when the gamble doesn't pay off. The next time Pacman does something stupid (and lets face it the guys seems to have major issues where women are concerned) the headline will mention the NFL, the Cowboys and probably even the Titans even though they cut the d***h**d. As the team who, despite obvious and massive warning signals, signed the players they should carry the can for any further indiscretions.

As to other players in the league, if they keep messing up then they too will end up on the receiving end of suspensions large enough to significantly harm their value to their team. I would reserve draft pick removal for teams who have taken a gamble on a known risk who ends up getting thrown out of the league. However at that stage the team should receive a pretty big penalty.

by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 2:41pm

I want a NFL Network reality series with Chris Henry, Pacman Jones, Ray Carruth, et al living in the same "big house".

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 6:08pm

"Jones getting punted for over a year for arrests without convictions is over the top, and the first order of the day for whomoever takes"

Kevin, Goodell could give a lolly pop to a crippled kid, and you'd think it was tyrannical. Jones needed to go.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 7:30pm

This is a disgrace.

I thought Goddell said that the condition for Jones being reinstated was being cleared of his legal troubles? Has he been cleared of anything, especially the murder/shooting in Las Vegas?

Typical kowtowing to Dallas, who effectively get a free #1 pick from the league office.

by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Fri, 08/29/2008 - 8:06pm

Kevin, Goodell could give a lolly pop to a crippled kid, and you’d think it was tyrannical.

On which cable channel can I catch the exciting debut of "Rich Conley, Mindreader"?

But here's one ofDictionary.com's definitions of "tyrant": an absolute ruler, esp. one in ancient Greece or Sicily.

Our society generally doesn't smile upon tyranny, unless it's used as a method to step on Adam Jones' neck. Then the ends will justify the means.

Except that it doesn't.