When you have made a lot of mistakes in your life, and you create a lot of enemies, it could be easy to draw further into yourself. But when one person shows compassion in your direction, it means all the more. At least that seems to be the case for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones.
The oft-troubled defender has had a number of issues off the field over the course of his career, both before and after he joined Cincinnati, but the Bengals’ owner, Mike Brown, has always been in his corner, and that has never been more important than over the course of this past offseason, when many believed that Jones could be released.
Comfortably on the wrong side of 30 with a high price tag and fresh off of yet another arrest, the veteran cornerback was ripe for the plucking for a franchise that was looking at some potentially pricey free agents slated to hit the open market. They ended up losing more of them than they planned, but Jones remained.
Brown went to bat for him, on multiple occasions over the course of the offseason, essentially saying that if it doesn’t work out, then you can put the blame on him—as though that is not what already would have happened.
Jones is fully aware of what his boss has done for him and showed great appreciation for it earlier this week when the Bengals reported to training camp. “Words can’t explain” what it means to have the support of his owner, he said.
“I can’t explain. I’m just deep from my heart that I have somebody that understands me as a person and that’s not quick to judge”, he told reporters in wrapping up an exchange with reporters that lasted for several minutes. The team’s website described him as “teary”.
You no doubt heard that the league in the past weeks announced that Jones would be suspended for the first game of the 2017 regular season as a result of his off-field conduct, which prompted Brown to go to bat for his player once again.
“I take all accountability for what I did and my actions and my words”, Jones said. “So I accept it, the one-game suspension. I’m ready to move on, man. I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be part of the 50th season here. I think it’s going to be special”.
He talked a bit about his relationship with the Bengals owner, saying that he speaks to Brown every day at practice. “The respect and the love that I have for Mr. Brown is undeniable, words [can’t] express the gratitude of how I feel about him”.
Contrary to what it might seem from a Steelers blogger, I don’t like watching somebody stumble over and over again if that somebody is on a rival team. I would like to believe that Jones is on a better path now, even though I won’t get my hopes up. I do hope that Brown’s faith in him is not in vain.