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Titans agree to send Pacman to Dallas
By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
That is if the cornerback who hasn’t played in the NFL since December 2006 passes a physical.
“He’s a fanatical workout person, so he’ll be in just fine shape,” Jones’ agent, Manny Arora said. “I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.”
Jones’ physical ability never has been a problem. It’s been his behavior away from the football field that finally pushed the Tennessee Titans to trade their top draft pick in 2005, swapping a gifted cornerback and dazzling kick returner for a fourth-round selection this weekend and a sixth-rounder in 2009.
That is if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lets him actually put on that Cowboys’ uniform and play much this season.
If not, the Titans will have to return a draft pick in 2009 under the terms the teams agreed to Wednesday. The Titans only issued a two-sentence statement confirming the trade, adding that terms had to be finalized and Jones had to pass a physical. Cowboys team spokesman Rich Dalrymple said terms could be announced as early as Thursday.
“What I can confirm is that we have agreed in principle with the Tennessee Titans on a trade that will bring Adam Jones to the Cowboys,” Dalrymple said.
This deal allows the Titans to quit hearing questions about Jones’ latest off-field incident, a chance to do exactly what coach Jeff Fisher has said the team did months ago and move on without him. They won’t miss him—much—on the field. They had a defense that gave up the most yards with Jones in 2006 and the fifth-best in 2007 without him.
The Cowboys are taking a calculated gamble.
Jones can fill two big holes if reinstated this year. Dallas owner Jerry Jones, who twice within the past week had said the talks were stalled, can try to reclaim Jones as he did receiver Terrell Owens and defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who was suspended for parts of 2007.
Arora said Wednesday night they had not been told of the trade by either team, but were cautiously optimistic. Jones has talked often of his desire to play for the Cowboys in recent weeks, even appearing on Michael Irvin’s radio show in Texas.
“We recognize the fact of where we are with regards to the league,” Arora said. “We recognize the fact he’s got a guaranteed contract with Tennessee, and we recognize the fact there’s risks involved at this point. We also recognize there’s significant public relations implications for the teams, and in fact Dallas has to sell tickets, the knowledge their fan base has a point of view.
“With all that in mind, we’ve said from Day 1 we’re willing to rework our contract. Once the trade gets completed or official, we’ll be ready to do our part because we want to play for Dallas. I don’t have any hesitation saying we can get this done and get it done quickly.”
Jones was scheduled for a base salary of $1.74 million in 2008 and had been under contract through 2009 before his suspension.
The first defensive player drafted in 2005, sixth overall out of West Virginia, had been Tennessee’s best defender with his four interceptions coming in 2006. He also led the NFL that year with an average punt return of 12.9 yards and three TDs.
But six arrests and 12 incidents where police were called since being drafted led to his suspension in April 2007 for the 2007 season. Goodell refused to cut it to 10 games and said he wouldn’t consider reinstatement until prior to the opening of training camps after Jones went to another strip club in January.
A return to the Titans never seemed possible, and Jones was given permission to talk to other teams weeks ago. The NFL also barred the cornerback from working out on their property in February.
Goodell said last week in Texas that he would consider reinstating Jones if he continued conducting himself in a way that represents the NFL in a positive manner. How he weighs Jones’ help in identifying the alleged shooter in the February 2007 triple shooting at a Las Vegas strip club remains to be seen.
Police reports surfaced Monday night that said Jones paid $15,000 in the weeks after the shooting to the man, who threatened to hurt the cornerback, his daughter and his mother. Jones picked the man out of a lineup last week, helping fulfill part of the plea deal he agreed to last December reducing two felony counts of coercion to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.
Terms of that deal also require him to testify in court as needed.
Associated Press Writer Jeff Carlton in Dallas contributed to this report.
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