It seems the Bengals are ready for life after Adam Jones.
The team declined to pick up the $5.5 million option on Jones’ contract prior to the start of free agency, thus sending the cornerback to the open market. Since then, there has been pretty much no news on the veteran cornerback and return man.
"I had groin surgery the week after the Super Bowl. I'm finally 100 percent from that, just got cleared by the doctors. Running full speed. Have been in contact with several teams, I expect it to pick up in the coming weeks"— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 15, 2018
FA CB @REALPACMAN24 pic.twitter.com/upz4pSFd7J
On Tuesday, Jones appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio and said that he’s been in contract with several teams and expects to be signed soon.
Teams no longer have to risk compensatory draft picks to sign free agents at this point in the offseason, so it’s now a more risk-free time for teams to take a chance on a veteran like Jones.
Jones has had an up-and-down football career, starting with the Titans before he bounced around to the Cowboys and then Bengals, all the while missing two full seasons due to legal issues. Run-ins with the police have been a theme for Jones during his NFL career, though the Bengals stuck by his side from 2010 to 2017, including many contract extensions during that span.
In eight years with the Bengals, Jones played 100 games with 68 starts. He racked up 305 tackles, 12 interceptions (1 for a touchdown), 5 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries (1 for a touchdown) and 2 sacks. He also contributed on special teams with 98 punt returns (1 touchdown) and 51 kick returns. He often provided a much-needed spark on special teams, averaging 11.3 yards per punt return and 26.4 yards per kick return.
After the Bengals drafted two cornerbacks in the fifth round of this year’s draft, one of whom is a skillful returner (Darius Phillips) it appears we’ve reached the end of Jones’ career in Cincinnati. Prior to the draft it seemed possible that the Bengals would bring back Jones on a lower-paying, team-friendly deal. But at this point, that appears unlikely.
It’ll be interesting to see where Jones lands and we wish him luck...as long as it’s not elsewhere in the AFC North.