BENGALS REMAIN ACTIVE IN FREE AGENCY; SIGN GIBRIL WILSON. In his six-year career, Wilson has 13 career interceptions in 84 games played. Since 2005, durability hasn't been a question, playing at least 13 games in each season. And in 2008, Wilson recorded 129 tackles in his only season with the Oakland Raiders.
Wilson can tackle. That's a point that shouldn't be lost here. In his past five seasons, Wilson has recorded 92 tackles or more in every one. With 8.5 quarterback sacks, seven forced fumbles and 13 interceptions, Wilson brings added stability to the Bengals secondary behind Chris Crocker, Roy Williams and Chinedum Ndukwe. With durability issues and age haunting Williams and Crocker, the Bengals did a good job solidifying safety with the 28-year old from Tennessee.
Of the signings this week, Wilson is hands down the most experienced, the most proven and (dare I say it), the better of the two. Unfortunately for Wilson, Jones' headlines cast a large shadow over the veteran safety allowing him to move into Cincinnati without much fanfare.
BENGALS REMAIN ACTIVE IN FREE AGENCY; SIGN ADAM JONES. You could define this week as a good week. In between rookie minicamp and the first Offseason Training Activity programs, the Bengals keep making moves to solidify their roster. They're not sitting on their hands with what they have. They're pushing towards a greater purpose. Players come and go, workout, training and if they're impressive enough, they sign with the hopes that they can make the roster in early September. This is the point. Keep building even when others aren't. Never sit on your laurels.
Still, the Bengals did their part to shake up the NFL world this week, being the first team to give Adam Jones a contract since the Dallas Cowboys released the cornerback on February 9, 2009.
Here's the facts. There is no lingering legal issues following Jones as of this posting (we have to be as current as possible, right?). Jones has only played in nine of the past 48 games -- he missed two of the past three full seasons. At best, Jones could be competing as a nickel back; at worst, he could be fighting for a roster spot. More likely: Jones' shot at making the team comes on special teams as an excellent returner. They didn't draft Brandon Ghee to be a fourth-string corner; provided the ultimate goal is to make him a safety as many suspect.
Two schools of thought exist with Jones and the Bengals. Some believe that Jones is a cheap enough solution with decent talent to improve the roster. And while the team chemistry could be at risk, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer put himself out there saying that if there is distraction or disruption, Jones is gone. No harm, no foul. Others believe that character is paramount and that the Bengals should only sign high quality guys who wouldn't squander the greatest chance in the world to play in the NFL. I can't argue either. Both are valid point.
However, in the end, it is what it is. Jones is a Cincinnati Bengals player now. Maybe he doesn't make the roster on final cut down day. Maybe he does, and he plays a mostly special teams role. Maybe he's been out of football long enough that he could make an easy transition to safety. There's a lot of maybes here. I won't suggest that you should jump on board and support Jones. If you don't like him as a person, knowing his trend of questionable moral choices simply proves him to be a bad person, then I won't blame you one bit. On the other hand, if you put aside the person and focus on the number, the player without any regard to the person, I won't blame you either.
In the end, we're Bengals fans and our ultimate goal is to watch this team celebrate a Super Bowl. If Jones is one of those pieces that helps us get there, so be it.
And yes, I'm one that will be ditching his nickname "Pacman" from here on out.