Pacman suspended at least 4 games for violating conduct policy
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The verdict is in: Pacman is out again.
The league said Jones was involved in an alcohol-related incident at a Dallas hotel on Oct. 8. Previous reports indicated Jones was involved in an alcohol-related scuffle with a bodyguard assigned to him by the Cowboys, and that hotel employees called the police.
Jones will not be paid during the suspension. Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the ultimate length of Jones' suspension after Dallas' Week 11 game against Washington on Nov. 16.
On Mike and Mike in the Morning, ESPN's Cris Carter had some very strong things to say about Dallas cornerback Adam Jones and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Listen
"He does need to address the kinds of things that seem to be with him at various times and one of those that he's dealt with for a really long time, he needs to address in a way that most of us might understand -- alcohol issues," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.
"I am disappointed for him and his opportunity and for the Cowboys and our opportunity and, frankly, for the NFL," Jones said. "I would like to have been standing here talking about his success and the curtain coming up for him and addressing his issues. That certainly would have been more positive."
Timeline of trouble
Since the Titans drafted cornerback Adam Jones in 2005 he's been questioned, named or arrested in connection with at least 12 off-field incidents. Here are some:
• Strip club incident
When: April 2005
What: Jones' name appeared on the police incident report after a fight broke out in a strip club. The female involved said she had no plans to pursue the case and it was dismissed.
• Hotel incident
When: June 2005
What: Security officials at Regal Maxwell House Hotel had trouble getting two of Jones' friends to clear their room after checkout time. Police arrived, smelled marijuana and found some on a tabletop. Jones was in the room, but one of his friends took full responsibility for the evidence.
• Nightclub arrest
When: July 2005
What:Jones was arrested on two counts of misdemeanor assault and a felony count of vandalism after a fight at a Nashville nightclub. Charges were dismissed less than a year later.
When: April 2006
What: Metro Police said a vehicle registered to Jones was involved in a drug trafficking ring. "Pac Man" was embroidered on the leather seats of a 2004 Cadillac XLR which was confiscated from a friend of Jones. Jones later bought the car back at an auction.
• Shots fired
When: April 2006
What: Jones was at the scene where gunshots were fired following an altercation at a Nashville gas station at 1:50 a.m. Police questioned Jones but labeled him only as a witness. The incident occurred just three days after the vehicle confiscation.
• Nightclub arrest
• Spitting incident
• Nightclub fracas
• Hotel scuffle
Where: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
What: Jones was arrested and charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, for an incident at Sweetwater Saloon. With six months of good behavior the charges will be dropped, a judge ruled last month.
When: October 2006
What: Jones was issued a citation for misdemeanor assault after being accused of spitting in the face of a Tennessee State student following a verbal exchange at a downtown nightclub. The charge was dismissed in general sessions court earlier this month.
Where: Las Vegas
When: February 2007
What: Jones took a plea deal to reduce felony charges to a gross misdemeanor in connection with his involvement in a nightclub disturbance. He got probation in return for his testimony about an ensuing triple shooting that left one man paralyzed.
When: October 2008
What: Jones was involved in an alcohol-related incident with a bodyguard assigned to him by the Cowboys, and hotel employees called police. No arrests were made, nor were there charges filed. But the NFL suspended Jones for at least four games because the incident was a violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
• Spitting incident
• Nightclub fracas
• Hotel scuffle
In his letter to Jones informing him of his latest suspension, Goodell said Jones' "disturbing pattern of behavior was clearly inconsistent with the conditions I set for your continued participation in the NFL."
The disturbance at an upscale Dallas hotel came only six weeks after Goodell reinstated Jones from a 17-month suspension.
"It's terribly disappointing to me that we're dealing with this again and that he's reflecting so poorly on all of the players in this league, which they don't deserve," Goodell said at the NFL meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Goodell said a lifetime ban remained a possibility.
"It's going to be up to Adam and what he does in the following weeks. Getting an evaluation and whatever treatment may be prescribed to him at that point of time," Goodell said. "Part of it is going to be whether he's willing to do some of the things that we are asking him to do."
The player's agent, Worrick Robinson, didn't return messages left by The Associated Press with his assistant and on his cell phone.
Goodell said the NFL, if asked, would help set up evaluations.
Asked if substance abuse was involved, Goodell responded, "I don't know. I'm not a doctor. I think that's one of the reasons we want him to get an evaluation."
League and law enforcement sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen prior to the ruling that Goodell was expected to weigh whether Jones was in potential violation of his probation, in which he was prohibited from alcohol-related incidents.
When Goodell reinstated Jones from suspension before the regular season began, sources said one of the commissioner's conditions for Jones to remain an active player was that he remain in compliance with all aspects of his three-year probation from his no-contest plea last February to a felony in Fayette County, Ga.
"We respect and support the decision of the commissioner," Jerry Jones said in a statement earlier Tuesday. "I regret that this issue has brought negative attention to the Cowboys and the NFL. We move forward with a very clear knowledge as to what the process will be for a possible reinstatement. Adam is well aware of where he stands and what he has to do."
Police reported that Adam Jones might have been drinking when he was involved in the scuffle with a Cowboys-assigned bodyguard last week in Dallas, but Jerry Jones has refuted many of the allegations and speculation, saying the incident was nothing more than back-and-forth banter that got out of hand. A small glass item on the vanity in the hotel's restroom was damaged.
The player and his bodyguard, part of a security detail provided by the Cowboys to be with him at all times, said everything was OK. Police said both were driven from the hotel by an acquaintance, and the bodyguard did not want to press charges. No arrests were made.
Jones began his time in Dallas under close scrutiny by the league after he was suspended for the entire 2007 season for multiple violations of the conduct policy while he was a member of the Tennessee Titans. The Cowboys traded for Jones before his suspension was over and he was reinstated by Goodell on Aug. 28.
Goodell also said his decision on whether Jones can return to play will be based on Jones' strict compliance with the NFL and the Cowboys in relation to treatment plans and evaluations by clinical experts.
"I'd like to see him intensify his approach to getting better with his social conduct," Jerry Jones told ESPN.com. "I'd like to see that. If it were successful, I'd like to be a part of it. I'd like to have influenced it. I know the commissioner, considering his conduct policies in the NFL, it was a well-considered decision to let Adam back into the NFL."
The Cowboys' owner said he does not regret making the trade that brought Adam Jones to Dallas.
"I don't regret having been a part of helping him do better," Jones told ESPN.com. "I am sorry that we've had the negative publicity and that is the price that we pay for the team as well as the NFL."
Jones's friend and mentor, former Cowboys defensive back Deion Sanders, felt the minimum four-game suspension was a little harsh, according to the Dallas Morning News.
"[Goodell] He made a real cautious decision, and we respect it," Sanders said, according to the report. "But Adam is certainly not happy. He's upset with the severity of it, being the four games.
"But really what he's upset about is, we're praying that he doesn't lose hope. Let's keep in mind he was told that he was going to be suspended for eight games a couple seasons ago, correct?" Sanders said, according to the newspaper report. "And the suspension lasted the entire year. ... So he's thinking to himself, 'All right, I was already told this once before. Hopefully, this is not the same process.' "
Commissioner Goodell explains why the NFL suspended Adam Jones for his off-field conduct.
Before getting traded to Dallas in April, the cornerback was arrested six times and involved in 12 instances requiring police intervention after Tennessee drafted him in the first round in 2005.
Tennessee got a fourth-round pick from the Cowboys in the April draft and was supposed to get a sixth-rounder next year for Jones. But because Jones has been suspended again, Dallas is instead expected to get the Titans' fifth-round pick next April.
Jones was an elite cornerback and kick returner in his first two seasons with the Titans, but the accumulation of arrests and legal problems, including his connection to a shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, led to his suspension without pay in April 2007.
More trouble followed, including felony charges related to the strip-club shooting that left a bouncer paralyzed. There was also a $20,000 debt repaid to a Las Vegas casino after a felony theft warrant was threatened.
Jones has started all six games for the Cowboys, partly because Pro Bowl cornerback Terence Newman> has been injured. Jones has 25 tackles and 11 pass deflections, and has averaged 5.0 yards on 16 punt returns.
Information from ESPN.com NFL writer Pat Yasinskas and The Associated Press was used in this report.