The Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League have agreed in principle to a one-year deal with mercurial CB Adam “Pacman” Jones, Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reported this morning.
Jones, whose well-documented escapades with the law led to a speedy departure from the NFL, hopes that showcasing his skills north of the border will help him forge an alternate route back to the big time.
“It’ll be a good experience for me to get back in game shape and compete and play football, which I like to do,” Jones said in the article. “I’m real happy for the opportunity that’s been given to me. Of course it’s disappointing to me to not be playing in the NFL. But things happen and you have to adjust.”
As Trotter notes, Jones’ physical skills have never been debated. He was the sixth-overall pick by the Titans in 2005 and appeared in 30 games his first two seasons in the league, notching four picks and a touchdown in ’06.
However, he was suspended for the ’07 season after “making it rain” in a Las Vegas strip club, which led to a shooting that left a club employee paralyzed from the waist down, and his career went tumbling downhill from there.
He was traded to the Cowboys (surprise, surprise) following the incident but was later suspended by the club after an altercation with a team-employed bodyguard.
The CFL, at least, seems to be excited by his arrival, and rightfully so.
“If I was in the same position in the NFL I might have a lot more reservations,” said John Murphy, the Blue Bombers’ director of player personnel. “But for me it’s a win-win. I’m smart enough to know that if I’m looking for somebody who can be a playmaker for the second half of our season, there isn’t a better football player who’s not in the NFL.”
He’s right. Pacman is a great talent who will certainly bring excitement. If not to the team, then certainly to the city after watching that video of him. And from a marketing standpoint, as Murphy points out in the article, Pacman draws headlines from around the country, which should give the Blue Bombers a slew of media coverage in the later stages of this season.
To me, Pacman is a Michael Vick-esque type of person. He will put extra fans in the seats and bring another dimension to a team. So if Vick can get another shot after what he did, why should Pacman be relegated to outcast for something that was, in my opinion, far less heinous than knowingly torturing dogs? That’s more of an indictment of what Vick did than an excusal of Pacman’s actions, but also note that Pacman was only convicted of a misdemeanor for his role in the incident.
I’m all for second chances, and I hope that Pacman can get his head out of his you-know-what for long enough to realize that this is almost certainly his last chance to make it in professional football at any level. Bring your umbrella.