Well, I was wrong. Dead wrong.
I was sure that Adam Jones’ playoff meltdown in the final moments of the Cincinnati Bengals’ wildcard playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers would cost him his career.
I reasoned that a team wouldn’t want a cornerback who will turn 33 during the season, and could not maintain his poise in a crucial situation.
But the Bengals are that team. Jones re-signed with the Bengals as the NFL free agency period starts.
So much for Jones blowing up his career. And that is not all, according to reports, there were multiple teams interested in Jones’ services.
Jones’ re-signing with the Bengals says a few different things.
It really says a lot about Jones’ talent, which was never in question. Everyone knows he can play. More importantly, it says what the Bengals think of Jones, considering they know him better than anyone. Jones has been with the Bengals since 2010, so they know his work ethic and character. They considered him worth the investment.
That tells people like me, and others who have criticized Jones’ behavior, that we do not have a good idea of Jones’ character.
Now, the flip side this signing could also demonstrate why the Bengals have failed to win a playoff game under head coach Marvin Lewis. Maybe even more than talent, you need players to be smart, level headed, and be able to execute in the playoffs.
The Bengals haven’t done that under Lewis, and Jones certainly didn’t do it last season against the Steelers. His 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty afterthe end of a play did not cost the Bengals the game, but it was one of several mistakes the team made in the final moments. Worst of all, it was a mental mistake by Jones.
Now, just because Jones signed a contract, doesn’t mean he will see the end of the contract. Of course, that goes for every NFL player. The moment a team thinks it can upgrade the position, they will do just that.
Adam Jones is back in Cincy. That is a credit to his immense talent level, and some positive characteristics that the public doesn’t see. Here is hoping the 2016 season will turn out better for him, Lewis, and the Bengals.