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Pacman to make first TNA appearance Thursday

8/6/2007 - NFL Adam Jones Tennessee Titans + more

Adam "Pacman" Jones is entering the world of men in tights wielding metal folding chairs.

The troubled Tennessee Titans cornerback, suspended from the NFL for the entire season after numerous run-ins with the law, has signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company said Monday.

Jones' first in-ring appearance will be for its "iMPACT!" show on
Spike TV on Thursday, TNA said. That show already has been taped, including Jones' appearance. He also will appear in a pay-per-view show
Sunday at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

Last week, Jones' agent said the cornerback would not actually be wrestling,
but that he might participate with TNA Wrestling in other ways.

TNA spokesman Steven Godfrey said officials could not comment on
whether Jones actually will wrestle.

"But he will be involved in a story line," Godfrey said.

"He wants to prove he's the best team sport athlete. You can
take that for what it's worth. He's looking forward to coming in
and wrestling," Total Nonstop Action Wrestling co-founder Jeff
Jarrett said Monday. "He wants to concentrate on the tag-team
aspect of wrestling."

Monday, Jones was quoted in USA Today as saying that wrestling is "something to do, to keep me out of the streets while I have my little off-time from my real job, and, I'm a big fan of wrestling, so I wanted to give it a try."


"I think wrestling is a great sport,'' he said, according to the report. "You don't really give [wrestling] much [credit] until you get in [the ring] and try it."

"It will help get my mind off a lot of stuff that I'm going through. It's sort of a way to relieve some stress," he was quoted as saying in USA Today.

Goodell was asked about Jones' wrestling activities when he
visited the Titans' camp Saturday. Goodell said it was up to Jones
to decide what's in his best interest as he tries to earn his way
back onto the field.

"I've often said that it's not about what you say, it's about
what you do,'' Goodell said. "It's your actions. And I think the
actions will have to determine that.''

In earlier reports on Jones' potential interest in wrestling, agent Michael Huyghue said he is mindful that Jones' NFL
contract prohibits non-football activities that could cause injury.
He said he had talked with the Titans about Jones' plans with
TNA.

"I do not have a comment," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said when
asked about Jones wrestling.

Jarrett said TNA has featured appearances from Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, 2005 World Series MVP David Eckstein,
Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and New York Yankees
outfielder Johnny Damon.

But none of those athletes appeared while suspended from their
day jobs.

Asked how Jones will be portrayed, Jarrett said to tune in
Thursday night and the audience will dictate whether the cornerback
becomes a good guy or "heel."

"I'm a third generation in this business. The wrestling
business is built literally on conflict and controversy and
larger-than-life personalities. I know that the media certainly
knows Pacman from one side of his personality," Jarrett said.

"I really think he's a very charismatic guy. When you get to
know him from our approach -- very marketable -- and you'll see when
you tune into the pay-per-view on Sunday the response he will get.
He's a star. He's a star."

Jarrett said he and other TNA wrestlers have been working with
Jones, and he was impressed with the athletic ability of the first
defensive player taken in the 2005 draft.

"I've never been in the ring with someone with more natural
athletic ability," Jarrett said.

He wouldn't be the first Titan to make a TNA appearance. Titans
defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch worked the corner for retired tight
end Frank Wycheck at a TNA tag team match in June in Nashville.

Vanden Bosch said after Monday's morning practice that he
consulted with Titans officials about what he could and could not
do in that appearance. He called wrestling a "soap opera'' for
grown men and said Jones must weigh whether it's worth doing if
team officials don't want him taking part.

"He has to keep continuing to take the little steps to get in
good favor with his teammates and this organization,'' Vanden Bosch
said. "I don't know what kind of step this is. It can be a good
step. He also has to take steps to rehabilitate his image with the
public.''

Titans quarterback Vince Young said he hasn't talked to Jones
about wrestling and is too busy in training camp to watch.

"That's his decision. That's his choice. The Tennessee Titans,
we're out here working," Young said.

Several Titans declined to talk about Jones. Tight end Ben Troupe said he would record Thursday night's show if the training
camp schedule keeps him busy with meetings. He is hopeful that
Jones will be careful.

"I hope it's worth it, and I hope it don't violate his contract
either,'' Troupe said.

Jones was suspended for the 2007 season in April for conduct
detrimental to the NFL, and he can have his case reviewed after the
Titans' 10th game, which is Nov. 19 at Denver.

He has been arrested six times since being drafted by the Titans
in April 2005, including June 22 when he turned himself in on two
felony counts of coercion in a Las Vegas strip club fight that left
a man paralyzed in a triple shooting.

Last month, the league denied Jones' bid to attend training camp.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.