So long, Pacman.
We hardly knew ya.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced last night that they will not be continuing their pursuit of Adam (Pacman) Jones, the troubled former NFL star.
"After deliberating and further investigating, we feel at this time it is not in the best interest of our football club to pursue Adam Jones and wish him all the luck in his future endeavours," head coach Mike Kelly said last night.
"This has nothing to do with his ability to get across the border. It was instigated by me -- and then having further discussions with (president) Lyle (Bauer) -- that I just didn't feel it was in the best interest of our football club to include Adam Jones."
It's believed the Bombers got scared off after Jones did a 44-minute video chat on ustream.com on Tuesday night. The session started on an odd note when Jones, believed to be at his Georgia home, got the league wrong when talking about joining the Bombers.
"I just signed with the UFL, man," he said of the brand new United Football League. "So I'll go to the UFL and do my thing and get ready for the playoff run in the NFL."
He then received a phone call and quickly corrected himself.
"I meant to say the CFL, man, not the UFL," he said in the video. "My bad."
Jones, 25, also spoke of leaving the Bombers as soon as an NFL team came calling, a contract term to which the team likely would not have agreed. Jones made it crystal clear he just wanted to get back to the NFL.
That probably didn't win him any fans among Bomber management. Reading between the lines, it didn't sit well with Kelly.
"We feel very good about the culture and the atmosphere that we've created here, and we have the utmost respect for our players," he said. "I just don't feel like it would behoove us to continue this route (of pursuing Jones)."
Jones, a former Tennessee Titan and Dallas Cowboy, has a long rap sheet and is notoriously known for his role in a Las Vegas strip club shooting that left a man paralysed.
Kelly wouldn't confirm or deny last night that Jones was still on Winnipeg's negotiation list.
Word broke Tuesday morning that Jones, a cornerback and kick returner, was all set to resume his playing career with the Bombers after director of player personnel John Murphy did an interview with SI.com.
Murphy hinted that a deal was all but done, and it soon became gospel across North America that Jones was Winnipeg-bound. Media outlets from ESPN to The Wall Street Journal called with interview requests.
The club had already hired an immigration lawyer to help get Jones, a convicted criminal, across the border, but the Bombers, to their credit, never said a deal was officially done.
"The assumption got too far ahead of itself," Kelly said.
The Bombers only went so far as to say Jones was on their negotiation list, which gave them exclusive negotiating rights.
"People within our organization and people outside of our organization jumped the gun," Kelly said. "... When all of this information broke, all of our due diligence was not complete at that time. Information was released and presumptions were made that were inappropriate at that time.
"... We apologize that any misinformation was presented by a member of the Winnipeg Football Club organization. Obviously we cannot control outside sources that report private conversations, and we will continue to work hard to provide positive and truthful information to our public."
When asked if Murphy thought he was having an off-the-record conversation with SI.com, all Kelly said was, "That was not handled appropriately by John."
The Bombers also felt it was in their best interest to announce they were no longer pursuing Jones in an effort to get the focus back on football. They play their biggest rivalry game of the year on Sunday in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the contest has hardly been mentioned all week.
"Sensationalism overtook this," Kelly said, "and I'm not interested in that."