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NFL reduces Adam Jones fine from controversial penalty in Wild Card playoff loss

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Jones probably just feels more cheated on the field now than he does in his wallet.

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Just when Bengals fans were starting to get over that dreaded playoff game in January, they have to re-live the playoff loss to Pittsburgh and feel even more cheated about it.

You'll recall late in the fourth quarter with the Steelers driving down the field and in position for a game-winning field goal, cornerback Adam Jones was flagged and later fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and making contact with a game official.

The fine ended up being a whopping $28,940, but that's now been reduced following Jones' appeal, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, who also adds a list of teams pursuing the free agent corner.

Per a league source, the NFL has reduced via the appeal process Jones’ fine from $28,940 from $12,500. Hearing officer Derrick Brooks handled the case.

The 2005 top-10 pick, who has spent the last six seasons with the Bengals, is expected to draw interest in free agency from the Cowboys, Raiders, Dolphins, Vikings, and Browns.

With $60 million in cap space, the Raiders certainly have the ammo to outbid the Bengals for Jones if they so choose. And, Hue Jackson's Browns are in the same boat.

Back to the original point: By reducing Jones' fine by to less than half of the original number, that's a pretty good way of saying, "we screwed this up but can't completely admit that, so we'll just reduce your fine by a significant margin."

There's really no question the refs got this call wrong by not flagging Joey Porter for being on the field for Jones to argue with in the first place. This should have been an offsetting type of scenario or have no flag be thrown at all.

But alas, we're left to wonder what would have been had the right call(s) been made.