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With felony dropped, Adam Jones’ status still up in the air

A look back at the last three months in the life of Bengals cornerback Adam Jones and the aftermath of his latest arrest.

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NFL: Adam Jones Archive Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Adam Jones remains on the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster nearly three months after his January 3, 2017 arrest. While the Bengals are waiting for the legal system to play out before making a decision on Jones’ future in Cincinnati, all signs seem to point to him remaining with the Bengals in 2017.

Jones was initially charged with three misdemeanors and a felony due to the events that took place on the night prior to and early morning of his arrest, but the felony charge was dropped last week by Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters. Let’s take a look back at what we know and what could be coming for the Bengals cornerback who has been with the team since 2010.

The details:

Jones was arrested at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati around 12:25 a.m. on January 3. He was charged with three misdemeanors for assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business, and a felony count of harassment with a bodily substance. That charge occurred once he was in custody, but the felony charge has since been dropped (more on that below).

Jones was allegedly beating on hotel room doors when security came to check out what was going on. At that time, Jones allegedly pushed and poked a hotel security employee in the eye. The police were then called, at which point things seemingly got worse. Per police documents, Jones head butted and kicker a police officer while resisting arrest. He eventually did get into a police car and was taken to jail. There’s considerable video footage of the ride to jail (more on that below).

Before Jones got to the Millennium Hotel he was reportedly kicked out of a Cincinnati club, according to a TMZ report.

Cincinnati PD has confirmed Jones was "acting disorderly" at JACK Cincinnati Casino and was asked to leave. Security and police escorted the NFL star out of the building.

One witness tells us Jones had verbally attacked employees at the casino and had an altercation with a casino patron who was trying to record the incident on his cell phone.

We're told Jones also went off on a police officer who responded to the scene and was "fired up" as he left the premises.

Interestingly, JACK is a sponsor of the Cincinnati Bengals and the casino has a VIP bar inside of Paul Brown Stadium, right outside of the team’s locker room.

The Bengals have been hesitant to say much at all, though Duke Tobin has made it clear the Bengals aren’t jumping to make a decision on Jones’ future.

"I’m not going to condone what he did," Tobin said via at the Scouting Combine. "But whether there was something criminal or not is to be determined by the criminal justice system. We’re going to let that work, and if there’s an NFL penalty that will be determined by the league, we’ll let that work, and we’re not going to make any rash, harsh or fast decisions about the future of our team without all the information."

Jones has also been working out on a regular basis at Paul Brown Stadium, making it seem like he’s comfortable with his standing with the team.

The jail nurse:

A big part of the reason why Jones’ felony charge was dropped was the involvement in the case of the jail nurse on whom Jones allegedly spit during his booking.

Tammy Hopkins, the nurse involved, supposedly is filing a civil case of her own in regards to Jones spitting on her. Deters has said that impacted the case and decision to drop the felony.

“That's kind of a problem for us, because when they start going down the civil path we usually do not do things criminally," Deters told WLWT. "They clearly have gone down the civil path... My understanding is she wanted $200,000. I don't care what it's worth civilly. If she gets a million dollars, good for her, I don't care. But I'm not going to be her collection agency, and I'm not going to be part of that."

Per Hopkins’ lawyer, she hasn’t even decided yet whether to pursue civil charges, and none have yet to be filed. Regardless, Jones’ felony charged has now been dropped. Many have questioned whether Deters is acting ethically in the case, too. Deters delayed Jones’ original court date because he claimed he wanted to see how the NFL was going to respond before he made a decision. The NFL rarely, if ever, acts before the legal system plays out. The case has been continued at least two additional times since.

The Cincinnati Enquirer spoke to attorney Mike Allen, who served as Hamilton County’s head prosecutor in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Per the Enquirer, he called Deters’ decision regarding pushing back the trial in an effort to make the NFL act first, “baffling.”

“What the NFL does is completely irrelevant to what happens in the criminal justice system,” Allen told the Enquirer. “Not one person with the record of Pacman Jones and who has done the things he has done, has gotten any special consideration in Hamilton County.”

Deters has defended himself continually during the past three months when questions regarding the case getting pushed and felony being dropped have come up.

If Jones had been convicted of the spitting felony, he would have faced up to one year in jail. Deters said when the felony was dropped that Jones had chew in his cheek, and that’s what actually hit the nurse's hand, as he spit it out while she was attending to him. The first time Deters — or anyone — brought up chewing tobacco being involved in the spitting incident was when the felony was dropped.

The video evidence:

In the dash cam video of Jones’ ride to jail, the Bengals cornerback is heard cursing at the arresting officers for 20+ minutes. He also calls one officer “a b–tch a–– ni––––” and goes on to say “I hope you die tomorrow. You’re gonna be out of a job tomorrow.” Needless to say, the officer was not out of a job the next day. The video is a terrible look for Jones and also reflects pretty poorly on the Bengals who continue to employ him.

A second video was released last week by the Cincinnati Enquirer, in which you can see some of the interactions Jones had with jail personnel. The alleged spitting incident is also included, though, a jail employee is blocking most of the action.

More video will likely be released in the coming months of Jones at the Millennium Hotel.

What we know from the Bengals and NFL:

The Bengals have released just one statement on behalf of the team and that was following the first video coming out from the cop car. This is that statement:

"We are extremely disappointed with Adam’s behavior. The behavior in the video is not what we expect from our players. The Club is aware that Adam has put forth his own apology, however, we also offer an apology to the public and to our loyal fans."

The NFL has released a few statements, most recently, after the felony was dropped.

Our review continues under the personal conduct policy, which states that a player may still be subject to potential discipline even if the conduct does not result in a criminal investigation.

Jones could face suspension from the NFL, regardless of the legal system outcome, and the Bengals could opt to cut him at any time. According to Over the Cap, Jones has an $8,166,666 million cap hit in 2017 and could be cut with the Bengals losing only $1.3 million, while saving $6.8 million this season. The third year of Jones’ deal (2018) was an option for the Bengals, so the team wouldn't have any dead money in 2018 if Jones is cut.

Where things stand:

The most serious charge, a felony, has been dropped but Jones is still being charged with three misdemeanors. He has pleaded not-guilty to all remaining charges. Jones is expected back in court on April 24 for a pretrial hearing.

Jones also has reportedly entered alcohol and anger management.

Here’s a history of Jones’ arrests while in the NFL, via the USA Today NFL Arrest-Database:

Adam Jones Arrest Record Since Playing in NFL

1/3/2017 CIN Adam Jones CB Arrested Assault Accused of poking hotel security employee in the eye in Cincinnati, obstructing police. Resolution undetermined.
9/23/2013 CIN Adam Jones CB Arrested Disorderly conduct He was the passenger in a car pulled over for speeding and was cited for disorderly conduct. The driver was charged with drunk driving. Paid $130 for fine and court costs.
6/10/2013 CIN Adam Jones CB Arrested Assault Accused of punching a woman outside a Cincinnati bar on June 5. It is his eighth run-in with the law since 2005. Resolution undetermined.
7/10/2011 CIN Adam Jones CB Arrested Alcohol Accused of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and resisting arrest at bar in Cincinnati. Resolution undetermined.
6/21/2007 TEN Adam Jones CB Charged Coercion, gun Surrended in Las Vegas, charged with felony coercion in connection to strip club shooting that paralyzed a man. Pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, agreed to testify against gunman.
10/26/2006 TEN Adam Jones CB Cited Assault Accused of spitting in a woman's face at Nashville nightclub. Charge dropped because of inconsistent testimony.
8/25/2006 TEN Adam Jones CB Arrested Public intoxication Accused of being drunk, shouting profanities and arguing with a woman outside club in Tennessee. Charges dropped on the condition he stays out trouble for six months.
3/23/2006 TEN Adam Jones CB Charged Drugs Accused of smoking marijuana after he emerged from Corvette reeking of marijuana. Officers were serving a warrant on his home in Georgia. Charge dropped.
2/6/2006 TEN Adam Jones CB Arrested Drugs Accused of throwing a punch at an officer and marijuana possession in Fayetteville, Ga. He had been in his parked Bentley. Pleaded no contest to obstructing police, three years of probation, $500 fine.
7/13/2005 TEN Adam Jones CB Surrendered Assault Accused of assault and vandalism after being asked to leave club in Nashville. Charges dropped after nightclub manager said he didn't want to pursue it.