Adam "Pacman" Jones joins a Bengals club that didn't necessarily have a strong need for CB help and already had more returner options than it did a season ago. But Jones, who was out of football in 2009 and missed 22 regular-season games in 2007 and '08 because of NFL suspensions, will have a chance to compete for both roles.
"We know the downside of it," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said of the Jones signing, "but I trust that he will resurrect his career with this opportunity and get himself going and have an opportunity to be a productive player, whether it be here, whether it be somewhere else, (because) I don't know if he'll make our football team, but he's going to have a good shot at it, and the only way to do is to put him on the team right now and see." Lewis also said that nothing had been "guaranteed" to Jones.
The Bengals already had serviceable CB depth behind the outstanding starting tandem of Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, with veterans Morgan Trent and David Jones already familiar with Mike Zimmer's defense and third-round pick Brandon Ghee having a solid upside. However, the 26-year-old Jones, a first-round pick in 2005, has always had very good quickness, and he flashed impressive potential at cornerback earlier in his career. On special teams, Jones will likely have to beat out Quan Cosby and rookie Jordan Shipley to return punts, something he did exceptionally well in his first two seasons (four TDs) but not so well in 2008 (4.5 yards per return, no TDs).
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