The Bengals appear to have decided on keeping cornerback Adam Jones on the roster, despite his latest offseason arrest.
After Marvin Lewis voiced his support for Jones on Tuesday, Bengals owner Mike Brown is now doing the same (and then some) at the NFL Owners Meetings.
“I’m going to give him a chance,” Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I hope it comes out right for him, for his family and for us. I know there are critics. I understand. But that is a full answer. And that’s what I have to say about it."
Brown went on to cite the Hamilton County prosecutor dropping Jones’ felony charge as a reason to not be so hard on Jones, who now only faces misdemeanor charges. Though Brown did offer some tongue-scolding of Jones’ actions, that’s about all Brown is going to do regarding any ramifications.
“I’m not condoning his actions. They were in all honestly embarrassing. He was out of control. He misbehaved. He made a fool of himself,” Brown said of Jones. “No one knows that more than he does. I don’t know that I have been perfect in my lifetime, either. I probably did some things I wish I hadn’t. Most people would probably have to admit to that. He didn’t hurt anybody physically. He just hurt himself by how he comported himself. In some ways, that’s punishment enough right there. You have to live with that.”
Even Brown later admitted to being overly tolerant of these kinds of actions from his plays.
“He knows full well what he has done to himself. He regrets it,” said Brown. “But it’s been made into a public issue and maybe I am overly tolerant. If so, so be it."
This has become a joke of a situation. Brown and Lewis are acting like this is the first time Jones has ever done anything wrong, but we know that’s not the case.
Maybe Brown and Lewis really do think Bengals fans are suckers if they think this will all just blow over. It’s clear they don’t mind guys like Jones being leaders on a team that, ironically enough, has lost its composure in far too many big game moments, most notably in the playoffs.
That’s the kind of result they should expect to keep getting, and frankly deserve, if they keep relying on players like Jones to lead them.
This is also unfortunate for the other young corners on the roster who probably will now ride the bench again in 2017. Guys like William Jackson III, Darqueze Dennard and/or Josh Shaw will sit on the bench while Jones continues to start for this team. Though, Jones could be suspended by the NFL, regardless of the legal system’s final decision on the cornerback.
Alas, this is how Brown runs his team, which makes sense for an owner who has yet to oversee so much as a playoff win in the last 26 years.
Here’s more of what Brown had to say, via the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"I see Adam Jones through my own eyes. I see different facets of his personality. I see him as a person who is energetic, lively, positive for the most part, exceptionally so. I know a little bit about his family, that weighs in my mind. I think back to when he had his little daughter and she was a premie. He used to drive up from practices at Georgetown every day after practice to look through the glass and see her where they kept the premie babies in the hospital and the lights went out, one after another in that group of little babies, they disappeared. His little girl managed to survive. Now she has grown into a 5-year-old little girl. Wonderful little girl. Very pretty, very attractive, very energetic. To me, that is a story that registers. I would say this point blank: Am I looking to harm her? I’m not. It’s a bigger picture than one incident. And I get to be the one that sits in the chair to decide that. So I have chosen to decide it the way I am deciding it."