Perhaps if the NFL cracked down on the teams that employ thugs, we’d see more teams cutting their losses like the Bears did with Tank Johnson Monday.
Young lawyers must dream of landing that one plum account that will set them up for life. Coke, Nike, Microsoft’Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones.
Yup, the troubled young Titan cornerback, already suspended for the upcoming NFL season because of ongoing off-the-field problems, faces more legal issues thanks to a new lawsuit brought against Jones and his entourage on Monday.
A bouncer who was shot in the February 19 strip club melee ‘ just one of the many episodes that have led to Jones’ banishment from the NFL for the 2007 season ‘ is suing Jones and his posse for damages. Aaron Cudworth, the bouncer, claims that Pacman bit his left ankle. Perhaps it served him right for having a tattoo of a banana (worth 5,000 points!) on his ankle.
Okay, kidding aside, this latest issue facing the 23-year-old brings up an interesting issue that Paul Schwartz tackled in his column today in the New York Post: should NFL teams be more accountable for the actions of their employees?
We’ve already addressed the fantasy impact of Jones’ suspension and how the Titans were forced to deal with the situation (make sure you downgrade an already middling Titan defense for fantasy purposes), but the fact remains that the sixth overall pick from the 2005 NFL draft has rapidly become a case study for what’s wrong with the NFL and the poster boy for high draft choices gone awry.
If Jones’ on-field accomplishments came anywhere near what he’s managed to do off the field, we’d be looking at a perennial Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer. Five arrests and 10 police interrogations since the Titans drafted him in 2005? That’s All World, baby. The record is incredible:
- July 2005: A nightclub altercation leads to an arrest for assault and felony vandalism charges.
- September 2005: Asked to wait in line for his vehicle from valet parking after the annual Nashville Sports Council Kickoff luncheon, Jones threw a loud tantrum and had to be talked to by the police.
- October 2005: After a petition filed by the State of West Virginia claimed that Pacman had not seen his probation officer enough, his probation period is extended by 90 days.
- August 2006: In another nightclub episode, he gets busted for disorderly conduct and public intoxication after claiming a woman swiped his wallet. According to her, not only did she not steal anything, but Jones spat on her. Police ordered him to leave multiple times, but he refused and continued to loudly swear at the woman. He gets six months probation with the following conditions: stay out of trouble and stay away from the nightclub. Stay away from nightclubs? Man, that’s like asking the U.S. to stop meddling in international affairs.
- October 2006: Another nightclub altercation, another episode where Jones allegedly spat in the face of a woman. He gets cited for misdemeanor assault and the Titans finally take action, suspending him for one game.
- February 2007: The famous NBA All-Star weekend episode that involves a strip club and an exotic dancer. Enraged that once of the dancers ‘ without his permission — dared pick up money he threw on stage, Jones allegedly grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head on the stage. That’s when Cudworth apparently got involved, and all hell broke loose. Shots were fired and three people were hit. Next month, Jones is due back in Las Vegas to face criminal charges for this episode. He could face up to 12 years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
- May 2007: Less than a month after his NFL-imposed suspension, Jones was caught speeding in a car that had been involved in a drug bust in 2006.
- June 2007: Jones was sought for police questioning after an Atlanta strip joint shooting that allegedly involved some of his posse. Pacman avoided charges on this episode.
If that’s not enough, there are questions about Pacman’s involvement with recently arrested drug dealer Darryl Moore.
The former WVU star is just one of a seemingly constantly growing number of NFL players finding themselves afoul of the law. The Bears finally released Tank Johnson Monday, and the Bengals ‘ who really ought to think of making orange a more predominant colour in its uniform ‘ can almost man an entire down’s worth of players who have committed criminal activities in recent months.
Schwartz’s suggestions of stripping draft choices or reducing salary cap space for teams that have players they are incapable of controlling make a lot of sense. It would certainly help revolutionize the art of assessing a potential player’s psychological makeup before these teams shell out millions of dollars. This sport has supposedly replaced baseball as America’s game over the last decade; does anyone else find it ridiculous that while the media drags baseball through the mud for issues related to performance enhancing drugs, the sport of football remains untarnished by the off-field activities of its stars?
Memo to Bud Selig: you might want to ask the NFL who their marketing agency is.