Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly confirmed today that former NFL DB/KR Adam (Pacman) Jones is on the club’s negotiation list but would not confirm that Jones is coming to town.
Reports quoting Bombers director of player personnel John Murphy indicated that Jones, once suspended by the NFL for his involvement in a shooting incident outside a Las Vegas strip club, was indeed on his way here.
In fact, some of those reports also included quotes from Jones about playing in the CFL. Since he is on Winnipeg’s neg list, Jones cannot play for any other CFL team.
Sportsnet is reporting that Jones is not likely to show up in Winnipeg until after this Sunday’s Labour Day Classic against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina, but could dress for the re-match at the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg the ensuing Sunday.
Officially, the Bombers claim they are not allowed to discuss negotiations with players not under contract. Murphy, who spoke to SI.com about Jones coming here, said he made a mistake.
But it seems to be only a matter of time before Pacman becomes a Bomber.
"It'll be a good experience for me to get back in game shape and compete and play football, which I like to do," Jones told SI.com. "I'm real happy for the opportunity that's been given to me. Of course, it's disappointing to me to not be playing in the NFL. But things happen and you have to adjust.”
Although the NFL suspended Jones in 2007, the former first-round draft pick returned to play with the Dallas Cowboys, where he was ineffective. He was suspended for four games last season for an incident involving a bodyguard employed by the Cowboys.
"If I was in the same position in the NFL, I might have a lot more reservations," Bombers director of player personnel John Murphy told SI.com.
"But for me, it's a win-win. I'm smart enough to know that if I'm looking for somebody who can be a playmaker for the second half of our season, there isn't a better football player who's not in the NFL, at 25 years old, who's ready to play football, is going to play with a chip on his shoulder, and is going to bring some fun and excitement to our team, our locker room, our city, and our league.
"And at the same time it's a business decision as well as football decision. From a marketing standpoint, a business standpoint and a football standpoint, I could go to 100 NFL training camps and every pre-season game and more people will hear and know about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the next two weeks — from the coverage we'll receive — than in the last 10 years."
Jones reportedly reached a deal with the Bombers late Monday and could join the club as early as tomorrow.
Jones believes that he will get another shot with the NFL if he can prove his abilities have not eroded while playing for the Bombers for the rest of the season.
Murphy did not return either phone messages or e-mail messages left by The Sun this morning.