Time For The Bengals To Move On From Adam Jones

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Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) stands on the sidelines during the first quarter of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) stands on the sidelines during the first quarter of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Adam Jones has been one of the most controversial players to ever wear the stripes for Cincinnati. ‘Pacman’ has provided some memorable moments on the gridiron. However, they come with plenty of questionable decisions off the field as well. With Jones once again in the middle of another legal situation, maybe it’s time for the Bengals to move on from the troubled cornerback.

Adam Jones showed a lot of promise coming out of West Virginia University in 2005. There was no doubting the talent the former Mountaineer had at the cornerback position. Jones had speed, athleticism, and excellent ball skills. Unfortunately, he also had a temper and unique ability to find trouble. Still, the Titans took a chance and drafted Jones with the sixth pick of the draft.

Early in his career Jones flashed plenty of ability but was unreliable with his ability to stay on the field. This led to Jones being let go by Tennessee and suspended after only two years in the league. Afterward, Jones spent a season with the Cowboys before finding a home with the Bengals in 2010. Mike Brown felt he had found a bargain, and for the most part, he was right.

Since coming to Cincinnati, Jones has been a solid player on the field, eventually working his way into the starting lineup. However, the on-field success has not been able to keep Jones from avoiding the headlines throughout his Bengals career, for the wrong reasons. The latest being in early January, when he was arrested for misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct, per NFL.com.

When will enough be enough?

The Bengals organization has been more than fair when it comes to giving Pacman countless chance’s to turn his life around. There is no doubt Mike Brown wants to see Jones succeed in life as well as on the football field, however, there comes a time when you have to let go. Second chances are one thing and should be commended. However, after a while, these opportunities can blur the line of entitlement.

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What also has to be considered is the leadership vibe. There was a loss of many key veterans who were the glue of the locker room. Without guys like Andrew Whitworth, Domata Peko and now Rey Maualuga, the young guys need positive influences to guide them as they make their mark in the league. With the youth movement the Bengals are experiencing, right now, the last thing this team needs is veteran players spending more time in the courtroom than the film room.

Speaking of young guys, you have two first round draft picks in Darqueze Dennard and William Jackson. Both are waiting for their chance to crack the starting lineup. The Bengals have good, young depth at cornerback, after investing heavy into the position. Why not take a chance on the investment?

The reality

Besides, It’s not like Jones was setting the world on fire last season. Jackson has the potential to be a top cover corner in the league. If the Bengals are willing to take a chance on Cedric Ogbuehi and let a locker room presence like Whitworth walk away, they can certainly let Jones go. It’s time to show Jackson they believe in what he can do as well.

With Dre Kirkpatrick signed long-term, the Bengals have someone with enough experience to lean on early into next season. You have to believe that there is enough potential in this defensive backfield to warrant letting go of unnecessary distractions. That being said, I truly hope Adam Jones turns his life around. However, the Cincinnati Bengals have done more than enough to help him in doing so. It’s up to Jones now to do the right thing for himself. It’s time for Brown to do the right thing for his team.

Next: The Argument For Joe Mixon

If valuable locker room leadership can be considered expendable to make room for the young guys, then so can the locker room distractions. It’s time for the Bengals to move on and let all their young guys have a shot.

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