<
>

Pacman could be allowed to take part in Titans camp

7/17/2007 - NFL Adam Jones Tennessee Titans + more

Despite his season-long suspension, Adam "Pacman" Jones could be allowed to participate in training camp when the Tennessee Titans report July 27, his agent confirmed Tuesday.

"That was the basic understanding when [Jones] withdrew the appeal [of his suspension]," said Michael Huyghue, Jones' agent, who did not elaborate.

Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, also said, "That's my understanding, as well."

However, a league source said that commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to make a final determination. A Titans source said he expects dialogue between Goodell and the team by the end of this week about Jones' status for training camp.

"[Training camp] is one part that hasn't been glued down yet," the league source said.

The commissioner apparently will weigh at least two elements before making a ruling. One involves whether Jones violated terms of his suspension when he was identified by Atlanta police as being part of a group that was involved in a shooting outside a strip club on June 18. Jones is not a suspect in the shooting.

The second element -- perhaps the most critical -- is whether the Titans would object strongly to Jones being allowed to attend training camp.

A Titans source did not sound enthusiastic about Jones being on the practice field during camp. The team would abide by the commissioner's ruling if he gives Jones the green light, but Jones would be unlikely to get any significant practice time, the source said.

According to The Associated Press, Huyghue didn't sound worried about Jones standing and watching if allowed to practice in camp.

"There's never a shortage of active or available bodies at
training camp irrespective of the other moves the Titans have
made," Huyghue told AP. "If he's able to practice and perform,
there'll be an opportunity for him to do that."

The team also could release Jones, but recent decisions by an arbitrator mean that if the Titans do so, they could lose their rights to recover signing bonus money that has been paid to, but not earned by, Jones.

Jones dropped his appeal of a one-year suspension on June 12, but the NFL made no specific statement about his status for training camp.

Asked by AP if Jones dropped the appeal to ease the terms of his suspension, Huyghue said, "Pac realized if he was going to get an
opportunity to practice and perform, he needed to withdraw the
appeal."

When Jones was suspended on April 10, Goodell specifically said that the player "may not participate in any practices or workouts during his suspension ... beginning June 1, he is permitted to spend one day a week at the team's facility for conditioning, film study and other activities."

When the commissioner also suspended Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry for eight games, Goodell specifically said, "If [Henry] fully complies with all conditions, he may participate in training camp and Bengals preseason games."

Another league source said Jones' original terms deliberately "were left vague" regarding training camp to monitor his behavior. Jones appealed the suspension, but when he dropped the appeal, it seemed clear to Huyghue and Upshaw that his participation in training camp was viable.

A high-ranking league source later clarified Goodell's position, saying "The commissioner did NOT agree to allow Pacman to participate in training camp when he dropped his appeal. He agreed to leave open the possibility of training camp -- not preseason games -- if Pacman abided by the terms of his suspension. Commissioner Goodell has been monitoring his circumstances and will advise him prior to the opening of Titans training camp."


Television reporter Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN.