An alternate title for this post could be ‘Irony Thy Name is Pacman Jones.’
The former (let’s think positive here) bad boy and current defensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals has been asked to speak at the NFL Rookie Symposium. He has also been ordered to pay $11.65 million to a pair of victims from a shooting he was involved in at a strip club a few years ago.
At least the speech, presumably about how to conduct oneself as a professional, should be pretty easy: Hi. My name is Adam Jones. Don’t do like me and you should be fine.
As ironic as it does for the 28-year old Jones to be speaking to anyone about anything it makes perfect sense for him to be there. If there has ever been a cautionary tale in the NFL it was him. Concerns over his off-field behavior ran so deep in the Tennessee Titans (the team that drafted him in 2005) that they wanted safeguards in his contract.
The Titans were smart to do so. In his short tenure with the team he was as much of a guest of the local jail as he was in his own home (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). When Dallas gave him a shot the team hired a security guard to keep him out of trouble, so what does Jones do? He gets in a fight with him.
Chief among the many incidents that occurred when he was with the Titans was a shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub. The incident developed after Jones ‘made it rain’ with hundreds of dollar bills. When the girls started to collect the money Jones got angry and assaulted one of the dancers.
Security intervened and tossed him and his entourage out, but before they left one of them popped off a few shots, hitting two security guards and paralyzing one of them. A court recently ruled that Jones will have to pay $11.65 million in damages ($9.6 million to the paralyzed security guard, $1.3 million to the other, and $750,000 to the paralyzed guard's wife because they can’t have sex anymore.
So if there is anyone that knows how to screw up an NFL career it is Adam “Pacman” Jones. However, he is also proof that it is possible to learn from your mistakes. After spending 2009 out of football he made the Bengals roster and has been a somewhat productive and trouble-free member of it for the last two seasons.