The Cincinnati Bengals released cornerback Adam-Pacman Jones this offseason largely due to his contract. Could he find his way back to Cincinnati?
The Cincinnati Bengals chose not to pick up the option on cornerback Adam Jones contract this offseason making him an unrestricted free agent. The move felt evident as it saved the team $5.5 million in CAP space and the 34-year-old corner has seen a decline over the past two seasons. Jones only played nine games in 2017 due to a one-game suspension to start the season as a result of his assault charge last offseason and a groin injury later in the season.
Letting Jones go was a move that needed to be done. With cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard already having big contracts in 2018, it made little sense to keep Jones for a backup role at that price tag. Cincinnati also had the emergence of William Jackson III making the trio set for 2018. Keeping Jones this season would have been a waste of money for a fourth cornerback spot at best.
Given the depth at cornerback already on the roster and drafting two more in the draft, it seems very unlikely that even on a small contract would Jones return to the Bengals. However, for Jones, it’s not out of the question. Jones spoke on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and when asked if there were a chance he would return to Cincinnati he said it was a possibility.
In the same interview, Jones said he has heard from several teams recently. He says that he has been cleared by doctors after undergoing surgery the week after the Super Bowl and is running full speed again. Without the worry of giving up compensatory picks this late in the offseason, Jones could be a risk-free signing for a team in desperate need of depth and veteran leadership.
It will be interesting to see where Jones lands as long as it’s not with the Bengals. Given the depth already at the position, it’s likely that not all the cornerbacks on the roster at this point will make the team so bringing in an aged player makes little sense. Especially with the off the field incidents that Jones continually finds himself in.