As the NFL annual meeting was wrapping up Wednesday in Phoenix, Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown told the team website he is willing to give cornerback Adam Jones a chance despite his Jan. 3 arrest.
Jones is still facing three misdemeanor charges from the incident, although Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters dropped the felony count of harassment with a bodily substance last week.
Brown told Bengals.com he is fond of Jones and his family and remembers the birth of the player’s first child, Trinity, in 2010.
“I would say this point blank: Am I looking to harm her? I’m not,” Brown said. “It’s a bigger picture than one incident. And I get to be the one that sits in the chair to decide that. So I have chosen to decide it the way I am deciding it. I’m going to give him a chance. I hope it comes out right for him, for his family and for us. I know there are critics. I understand. But that is a full answer.”
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Brown went on to call Jones’ actions — which included telling a police officer he hopes “he dies tomorrow” while repeatedly cussing at the officer and jail personnel — “embarrassing” and “out of control.”
But Brown also said Jones didn’t hurt anybody and shouldn’t lose his job for making a mistake.
“I don’t know that I have been perfect in my lifetime, either,” Brown said. “I probably did some things I wish I hadn’t. Most people would probably have to admit to that. He didn’t hurt anybody physically. He just hurt himself by how he comported himself. In some ways that’s punishment enough right there. You have to live with that.
“What the municipal prosecutor does, that hasn’t been determined,” he continued. “What the league does, that hasn’t been determined. So when I say ‘play out’ there are more shoes to drop. We’ll see what comes of it. But I hope it ends up that he gets his life back and he has openly apologized. He knows full well what he has done to himself. He regrets it. But it’s been made into a public issue and maybe I am overly tolerant. If so, so be it.”
Jones reacted to Brown’s comments by posting a heartfelt message on Twitter that read, “There are no words to truly express what it means to be to be a part of a family that has (given me and my family) so much support and love. I truly don’t take it for granted and I vow to continue to order my best steps and continue to give you all the best of me.”