One veteran player who probably doesn’t have to worry about finding a team next season is Adam “Pacman” Jones, who is hitting the free agency market after not reaching an extension with the Cincinnati Bengals, but can still end up going back to the team he’s been playing for since 2010, while the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys have shown their interest already.
The Cowboys have reportedly had an accidental meet with Jones and his agent in an Indianapolis restaurant this week, which got the two sides to talk a little bit. Doesn’t seem planned, but they had a chance to talk shop a little bit I’m sure. Jones played for the Cowboys in 2008, and after not playing at all in 2009, he joined the Bengals in 2010, where it took him time to establish himself, playing 13 games in his first two seasons but missing just two since 2012, playing as cornerback and as a punt and kick returner.
During his time with the Bengals, Jones has one punt return touchdown and two defensive touchdowns. He has three interceptions in each of the last three seasons, making an All-Pro team in 2014 and the Pro Bowl in 2015. But his time there, for now, ended with a bitter taste in the Bengals mouth, as the penalty he was called for during the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, led the Steelers to kicking the game winning field goal, with the help of another penalty by a Bengals player.
But even if Jones doesn’t go back to Cincinnati despite his connection with Marvin Lewis, he’s not going to stay out of a job. He averaged $1.8 million a season on the last three-year deal he signed, and shouldn’t be looking for a lot more with his next deal. He’s turning 33 in September, and while the salary cap is getting a significant boost, teams just don’t throw around big money on 33 year old free agents unless they’re something very special.
With the Dolphins, Jones has a connection with their new defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph. Joseph was the defensive back coach in Cincinnati for the last two years, and is credited by Jones himself for teaching him how to finally study film. The Vikings, who need some veteran help and leadership (if they think they can count on Jones for that) on defense, could go after him as well if they think his behavior isn’t going to be a problem.