Reality With Pacman
The reported interest by the Patriots in free agent Pacman Jones raised some eyebrows when an article in the Nashville Tennesseean first connected New England to the controversial defender. Known for his now infamous "making it rain" incident at a night club that left a man paralyzed, Pacman reportedly has garnered interest from a half-dozen teams in addition to the Patriots. As mentioned in a previous Rumor Mill Update (membership req'd), Jones has enough talent to warrant a second look by teams.
The first obstacle for Jones is the Commissioner. Jones has to prove to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he has repented for the violations, which earned him a one-year (and counting) suspension from the league. Goodell has gone on record to indicate that reinstatement is no certain thing for Jones at this juncture.
The second obstacle for any team wanting to trade for Jones - aside from dealing with his personality -- is that they immediately inherit his contract from the Titans. According to NFLPA documents, Jones is set to earn $1.74 million in 2008 and $2.19 million in 2009. While that money is just his base salary, there's little doubt he would want to renegotiate the 2009 contact if he performs well this year. Consider also that Jones forfeited his $1.29 million salary in 2007 and has a load of legal fees to pay off.
The third, and probably most important, obstacle is finding a way to fit Jones into the locker room culture. Although he's received some support of former teammates, Jones may have trouble finding immediate supporters in his new digs. Jones has a reputation for living a wild lifestyle, and that type of behavior typically doesn't play well in New England. Any contract he negotiates with a new club would certainly include behavior clauses. If traded, Jones' old contract would need to be updated to include such protections for the club.
Will Jones fit in with a new team? Will that team be New England? Who knows, but the odds can't be as good as the Patriots chances to make the Super Bowl in 2008 with or without the talented player.
Hot Topic: Help at the corner position (Pacman Jones)
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