The specter of cornerback Adam Jones’ Jan. 3 arrest remains as the Bengals move forward in shaping its 2017 roster, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
The Bengals have refrained from making any official comments on the incident other than formal apology to fans on Jan. 23 after the Cincinnati Police Department released video of Jones being transported to the Justice Center, but The Enquirer has learned through team sources that the club has not yet refined its position on Jones’ status on the team for 2017.
And, the club likely won’t make any determination on his status until its review of all of the information surrounding the case is concluded.
Jones is facing a felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance (spitting) and misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing police.
The Enquirer reported on Jan. 23 that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has put the case on hold until the National Football League and commissioner Roger Goodell makes a decision regarding potential discipline for the arrest.
An NFL spokesman said the league does not comment on specifics of ongoing investigations.
Last March, the Bengals re-signed Jones to a three-year, $24 million contract, rewarding him for a Pro Bowl season with the expectation that he could continue to play a high level into his mid-30s.
If Jones is indeed suspended by the league, he would be able to appeal any suspension through the NFL Players Association. The league typically does not allow suspended players around the team, and players are not paid. But, Jones would not count against the Bengals’ 53-man roster if he remained on the team.
With no determination of Jones’ status yet made, one option for the club could be cutting the 33-year-old corner.
If the Bengals made that move by June 1, the club would save about $6.8 million against the 2017 salary cap while taking on about $1.3 million in dead money. After June 1, that number would rise to $7.5 million while lessening the dead money the club owes to about $666,666.