Friday, March 21, 2008
Updated: March 22, 9:36 AM ET
Cowboys, Titans reportedly engaged in Pacman talks
ESPN.com news services
Suspended Titans cornerback Pacman Jones said earlier this month he'd love to play for the Cowboys. Apparently the teams have begun the process of trying to make a trade happen.
The Dallas Morning News, citing an unnamed source, reported Friday that Dallas and Tennessee have held preliminary talks about a trade. The source told the newspaper that the Titans have acknowledged a trade is the best way for Tennessee to turn the page on its troubled player.
Manubir Arora, Jones' agent, prefers that his client be traded before the two-day NFL draft begins April 26.
"If Tennessee chooses not to have him on their roster next year, it's in their best interest to trade him," Arora told The Morning News, "because if not, they would get no compensation."
Later Friday, Arora told ESPN's Ed Werder that it's his understanding the Cowboys, the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions are interested in Jones. Asked Jones' preference of a future team, Arora said, "Every kid grows up wanting to play for the Dallas Cowboys."
"We want to go to an established team with good infrastructure and leadership," Arora told Werder. "Both the Cowboys and Patriots have veteran coaches who have been through these kinds of things before, good player liaisons and mentoring, and if you have those things and a winning program, then I think all these problems go away.
"All of Adam's issues have been offseason issues, not team issues."
Lions team president Matt Millen said Detroit does not plan to make a play for Jones this offseason.
"We've talked about it, but for a lot of reasons, we aren't going to try to get him," Millen told the Detroit News. "He has a lot of talent. We wish him well."
Jones, who has been arrested six times since the Titans selected him in the 2005 draft, has been suspended since April 2007 for violations of the NFL's conduct policy and has been told by the league that the suspension will continue indefinitely.
Arora, who told ESPN.com in February he fears Jones' banishment could include the 2008 season, told Werder he will petition to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for Jones' reinstatement and would cite recent examples of misconduct by other NFL players who have not been punished by the league for alleged transgressions before trial.
"We will cite cases lately where people have been arrested," Arora said. "We were suspended before we were even arrested with regard to the Las Vegas case, which resulted in a misdemeanor. Since then they've had people arrested for potential felonies, fights outside nightclubs, people beating people up. It seems a little one-sided and certainly not equitable."
Jones settled charges from a Las Vegas strip club fight and triple shooting at the end of the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend with a plea deal in December to a gross misdemeanor. Also, a Tennessee judge in February dismissed public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges from August 2006.
The final outstanding case against Jones, from Georgia in February 2006, was resolved last month when Jones entered an Alford plea to a felony count of obstruction of a police officer. In an Alford plea,
the defendant does not admit guilt and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.
"Sometimes I make some bad decisions, it is not always that trouble seems to find me,'' Jones said, according to The Tennessean. "I am learning how to adjust to it and I am bettering myself as a person. I'm moving on and learning what I need to do to take care of myself and my family.''
Dallas is several million dollars under the salary cap and needs help at cornerback. Jones, 24, is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2009 season. His base salary will be $1.29 million whenever he is reinstated.
"I just have to do what I have to do to get back on the field,'' Jones told The Tennessean earlier this month. "Hopefully it won't be long and hopefully it will be a couple of more months. I would love to play for the Cowboys, America's team.''
Ed Werder covers the NFL for ESPN.