Adam Jones

West Rumors: Prosise, Cards, Rams, Raiders

After a promising flash as a rookie, C.J. Prosise has not contributed much to the Seahawks‘ cause. He’s picked up 17 touches since December 2016 and is behind Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis on the Seattle running back depth chart. However, the team is discussing a position change for the third-year back. Pete Carroll said (via Pro Football Talk) his coaching staff is examining a possible Prosise switch to wide receiver, citing his background at the position in college. Prosise was a wideout at Notre Dame before being switched to the backfield. He caught 29 passes for 516 yards in 2014. The Seahawks are down Doug Baldwin for perhaps multiple weeks, and they have just four healthy wide receivers.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions, shifting to a running back who is also quite adept at the receiver role.

  • David Johnson is now the NFL’s second-highest-paid running back, holding a substantial lead over the No. 3 player in this hierarchy, and ranks close to the top in terms of fully guaranteed money, too. Johnson’s three-year, $39MM Cardinals extension will come with $24.682MM fully guaranteed at signing, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets. Adding in the amount guaranteed for injury increases the deal’s guarantees to $31MM, per Corry, who adds offset language is included in this contract. Johnson’s $24MM-plus full guarantee leads all running backs on veteran contracts, surpassing Todd Gurley‘s $21.9MM in guarantees.
  • Martavis Bryant is indeed back with the Raiders, as Jon Gruden suggested he could be. An illness and general inconsistency during camp led to Bryant being a preseason cut, Gruden said (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, on Twitter). Gruden said the perpetual suspension risk, who may or may not be facing another ban, is more focused and may suit up for the team on Sunday in Denver.
  • In addition to the Raiders’ interest in signing top free agent Johnathan Hankins, Gruden said they’re also interested in adding Clinton McDonald, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Hankins is visiting the Raiders on Wednesday. The Broncos released McDonald after the preseason slate. If signed, McDonald would add yet another 30-something to Gruden’s free agency haul. He’s 31.
  • The Raiders are in need of help at defensive tackle because of a Justin Ellis injury. The fifth-year veteran defensive tackle strained ligaments in his foot, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’s week-to-week, prompting Oakland to pursue outside help.
  • Adam Jones signed with the Broncos late in the preseason, appearing to represent an upgrade at punt returner and No. 4 cornerback. However, the 35-year-old defender appears to have usurped Tramaine Brock for the nickel job, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com notes. Brock didn’t fare poorly in the preseason and graded as an upper-echelon corner during his last season of full-time work, with the 2016 49ers, but Jones has more experience in Vance Joseph‘s defense from their time together in Cincinnati. If he’s been demoted, it would mark a second straight season the 30-year-old defender’s resided out of a nickel picture. The Vikings carried Brock as a depth piece in 2017.
  • The Rams are going to need a new return man. Pharoh Cooper suffered an ankle injury and will be out for “some time,” Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. Backup return man Michael Thomas is out for a few weeks, Sean McVay said, to prompt Los Angeles to seek alternative options. Cooper served as the Rams’ kick- and punt-return man last season, soaring to All-Pro honors.

Broncos Sign CB Adam Jones

The Broncos are signing free agent cornerback Adam Jones after working him out Sunday morning, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was the first to tweet Jones was auditioning for Denver and was likely to land with the club.

Jones received a one-year deal for the 10-year veteran minimum ($1.015MM), according to Mike Klis of 9News. The pact likely qualifies for the minimum salary benefit, meaning that while Jone will collect his full salary, the Broncos will only see the minimum for a two-year veteran ($630K) hit their salary cap.

Denver is in the market for a third corner after trading Aqib Talib to the Rams earlier this year. While the Broncos project to start Chris Harris and Bradley Roby in their base defense, Harris tends to move to the slot in nickel packages, so Denver needs a cornerback capable of playing the outside on nearly 75% of its defensive plays. Veteran Tramaine Brock is competing for that role, but Jones would give the Broncos another option.

Jones should be familiar with Denver’s defensive scheme, as Broncos head coach Vance Joseph served as the Bengals’ defensive backs coach from 2014-15, guiding Jones and the rest of Cincinnati’s secondary during that time. With the regular season just around the corner, that level of comfort could prove crucial.

The Bengals declined Jones’ 2018 option earlier this year, and he hasn’t drawn much interest since that time, with a July Browns workout representing his only known visit. Jones, 35 next month, was limited to just nine games with the Bengals in 2017, and didn’t fare particularly well on 299 defensive snaps.

Pro Football Focus assigned Jones the worst mark (47.1) of his entire career, although he performed relatively better in recent years. Aside from his work on defense, Jones can also be a factor in the kicking game, as he’s posted more than 300 combined kick and punt returns during his NFL tenure.

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Browns Work Out Adam Jones

The Browns will try out Bengals free agent cornerback Adam Jones on Friday, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Jones, 35 in September, hasn’t been in the news much this offseason, save for his recent Atlanta airport fight (If you missed it, Jones won via knockout). It turns out that a lingering injury has kept him from auditioning for clubs.

“I had groin surgery the week after the Super Bowl,” Jones said in May. “I’m finally 100 percent from that, just got cleared by the doctors. Running full speed. Have been in contact with several teams, I expect it to pick up in the coming weeks.”

Jones was limited to just nine games with the Bengals in 2017, and didn’t fare particularly well in 299 defensive snaps. Pro Football Focus assigned Jones the worst mark (47.1) of his entire career, although he performed relatively better in recent years. Aside from his work on defense, Jones can also be a factor in the kicking game, as he’s posted more than 300 combined kick and punt returns during his NFL tenure.

The Browns’ new look secondary features three new starters – free safety Damarious Randall and cornerbacks T.J. Carrie and Denzel Ward – plus new reserve corners E.J. Gaines and Terrance Mitchell. The Browns have shown a willingness to shake things up, but they have also placed an emphasis on their locker room culture. Given Jones’ off-the-field history, it’s hard to say whether the Browns are serious about signing him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent CB Adam Jones Expects To Sign Soon

Free agent cornerback Adam Jones hasn’t drawn known interest since the Bengals declined his option earlier this year, but the veteran defensive back says he’s now fully healthy and hopes to sign with a new club in the near future.

“I had groin surgery the week after the Super Bowl,” Jones told SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter links). “I’m finally 100 percent from that, just got cleared by the doctors. Running full speed. Have been in contact with several teams, I expect it to pick up in the coming weeks.”

Jones, 34, also indicated that a return to Cincinnati was a “definite possibility,” although there are certainly hurdles that could preclude Jones from heading back to the Queen City. The Bengals opted to not pay Jones nearly $6MM (base salary, roster bonus, and workout bonus) for the 2018 campaign, so any new deal would likely need to come in at a cheaper rate. Additionally, Cincinnati is largely set at corner with a starting package of William Jackson III, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Darqueze Dennard, so Jones would be returning in a limited role.

Jones was limited to just nine games with the Bengals a season ago, and didn’t fare particularly well in 299 defensive snaps. Pro Football Focus assigned Jones the worst mark (47.1) of his entire career, although he’d performed relatively better in recent years. Aside from his work on defense, Jones can also be a factor in the kicking game, as he’s posted more than 300 combined kick and punt returns during his NFL tenure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Decline Adam Jones’ Option

The Bengals have informed cornerback Adam Jones that they won’t be picking up his option, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com (on Twitter). However, they would like him back at a cheaper rate to compete as a nickel corner and kick returner. 

This was the expected move, as the Bengals are saving $6MM by declining the veteran’s option. Jones was an effective punt returner last year, averaging 21.8 yards per attempt. He started in all nine of his games at cornerback in an injury-shorted season, but played only 299 snaps. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus rated his season as his worst ever, by a wide margin. He fared better in the previous two seasons, when he ranked as PFF’s No. 37 CB in 2016 and their No. 15 CB in 2015.

Jones will turn 35 in September, but he has said that he wants to continue playing football.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Rumors: Harrison, Ross, Browns

James Harrison sounds like he’s regretting his offseason decision to re-sign with the Steelers. The 39-year-old edge defender told NBC’s Michele Tafoya he would have signed elsewhere had he known he was going to receive this level of playing time (Twitter link). Harrison’s been active for just four Steelers games and has played just 29 snaps. While the Steelers viewed him as a bullpen-type weapon this offseason, those plans either haven’t come to fruition or are part of a long-game solution by the Super Bowl-contending team. He delivered standout football as a full-timer last season, and Pro Football Focus has not viewed Bud Dupree‘s work highly this season. But it hasn’t been enough to get Harrison on the field. Harrison signed a two-year deal to stay in Pittsburgh in March; the Steelers can save $1.3MM by cutting him after the season. While Harrison could look elsewhere if he wants to continue his career, he’ll turn 40 in May and did not fare well the only other time he left Pittsburgh, having retired from the 2013 Bengals.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions.

  • John Ross enjoyed an up-and-down 2017. The former Washington speedster became a top-10 selection despite offseason injuries but enjoyed one of the more nondescript rookie seasons a first-round wideout has in memory, playing just 17 snaps over three Bengals games and failing to catch a pass. Ross will encounter more hurdles soon. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter) Ross will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. This comes after Ross underwent a procedure to repair the labrum in his right shoulder. While this marks yet another surgery for the oft-injured pass-catcher, Rapoport notes Ross is expected to be ready by OTAs.
  • The Bengals placed Adam Jones on IR on Saturday, but the veteran cornerback does not want to wrap up his career just yet. The 34-year-old Jones said (on Twitter) he’s “not done playing football.” A team option will determine whether Jones will play his age-35 season on the Bengals, who can save $6MM by cutting the polarizing but effective corner.
  • Paul DePodesta and John Dorsey have yet to meet, with their first summit set to come when they watch Sunday’s Browns-Packers game together. Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports the team’s chief strategy officer was not in on the GM’s hiring, and the longtime Browns reporter doesn’t see how this setup will work. The former MLB exec and Dorsey will each report to Jimmy Haslam, with some potentially contradictory philosophies, while the Browns attempt to move on from a chaotic period that was largely caused by disparate-thinking voices in the building.
  • However, the draft choices Brown acquired and cap space he helped create were the most attractive part of this job, Dorsey said (via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com). Dorsey will control the 53-man roster for the first time in his GM history, commandeering these responsibilities after Andy Reid had them in Kansas City, and he’ll be entering an offseason with more than $110MM in cap space and five first- or second-round picks in the upcoming draft. Dorsey will also likely have access to the No. 1 pick, just as he did during his first Chiefs draft in 2013. The Chiefs took Eric Fisher atop a lower-regarded draft that year.

Bengals Place Adam Jones On IR

The Bengals have placed cornerback Adam Jones on injured reserve with a groin injury. To take his place, the team promoted fellow corner Tony McRae from the practice squad. "<strong

Jones, 34, was forced out of last week’s game against the Steelers with the injury. On Pittsburgh’s first offensive drive, Jones dove to intercept Ben Roethlisberger. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get up after that when he suffered the tear.

Jones’ season is over after just nine games, 23 tackles, one interception, and four passes defensed. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus indicate that this has been his worst season ever as a pro. His overall score of 47.0 portrays him as a below replacement level player and he is ranked just 91 out of 115 qualified cornerbacks. For reference, he was PFF’s No. 37 CB in 2016 and their No. 15 CB in 2015.

Given his age, regression, and history of off-the-field issues, it’s fair to wonder if Jones will be back with the Bengals in 2018. He’s under contract for next year with a $6.66MM cap number, but the Bengals would only have to eat $666K if they release him.

Losing Jones will hurt the Bengals’ already slim hopes of reaching the playoffs. Cincinnati is 5-7 heading into tomorrow’s game against the Bears with just a 1.7% chance of securing an AFC Wild Card spot, according to Football Outsiders.

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AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Bengals

Bills head coach Sean McDermott admitted it’s a “fair question” as to whether Buffalo would have traded Sammy Watkins had they known fellow wide receiver Anquan Boldin would soon retire, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (multiple links). Although McDermott referred to the two transactions as “separate entities,” Boldin announced his retirement just four days after the Bills shipped Watkins to the Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round selection. Of course, Buffalo also acquired pass-catcher Jordan Matthews on the same day it traded Watkins, and the Bills are “always” examining upgrades at wide receiver, per McDermott.

More from Buffalo and two other AFC cities:

  • The season-ending injury to cornerback Tony Lippett will have consequences for the Dolphins not only for the upcoming season, but for the 2018 campaign, argues Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Lippett, a collegiate wide receiver, had taken a massive leap as a defensive back in 2016, playing nearly three-quarters of Miami’s defensive snaps. While Lippett’s development may have allowed the Dolphins to release Byron Maxwell next spring (clearing his $10MM cap charge), the club may not have that option given the uncertainty surrounding Lippett’s health.
  • Reporters peppered Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland with questions on Tuesday about whether he’s a trade candidate, according to Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. As one would expect, Ragland suggested that he’s not worried about rumors and noted that he’s “got to keep getting better,” though it’s nonetheless an open question as to whether he’s a fit in the Bills’ defense. The Bills chose Ragland in the second round of the 2016 draft after a costly trade up, but he missed his rookie season with a torn ACL and is now under the thumb of a new administration in Buffalo. The Doug WhaleyRex Ryan duo responsible for the Ragland pick is gone, as is the Bills’ previous 3-4 scheme. Ragland has languished in a third-team role in Buffalo’s 4-3 alignment this preseason under Ryan’s replacement, McDermott, leading Pro Football Rumors’ Dallas Robinson to observe last week that the ex-Alabama star could be in another uniform soon.
  • Bengals cornerback Adam Jonesone-game suspension is now official, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. The 33-year-old’s ban, which the league handed down in July, came after he was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony stemming from a January arrest. Jones was able to avoid jail time and a lengthy suspension after pleading guilty to a lesser offense. He’ll miss the Bengals’ season opener against AFC North rival Baltimore.

Dallas Robinson and Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Steelers, Browns

When the NFL handed Bengals cornerback Adam Jones a one-game suspension last week, it appeared he would fight the ban. That won’t be the case, though, Jones announced Thursday. “You know, I take all accountability for what I did and my actions and my words. I accept it — the one game suspension — and I’m ready to move on, man,” Jones told reporters, including Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 33-year-old’s suspension came after he was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony, though he was able to avoid jail time after pleading guilty to a lesser offense.

More from Cincinnati’s division…

  • Although the league conditionally reinstated Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant from a year-plus suspension in April, it still hasn’t cleared him to participate in training camp. General manager Kevin Colbert addressed the situation Thursday, stating: “Upon his conditional reinstatement in April, Martavis Bryant was made aware it was only the beginning of a process toward a return to being a full contributing member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have been informed by the NFL that Martavis is still in the process of being fully reinstated. Until that time, Martavis will be permitted to take part in off-the-field team activities at training camp, but he will not be permitted to practice or play in any games.”
  • As expected, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell did not show up at training camp Thursday, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com was among those to report. The franchise-tagged star has not signed his $12.12MM tender, meaning he’s under no obligation to attend camp. Bell could follow in the footsteps of Chiefs safety Eric Berry and not report until the regular season is on the verge of beginning. That’s what Berry did last summer when he was unhappy with the fact that he had to play the season under the tag in lieu of a multiyear contract.
  • Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis has hired super-agent Drew Rosenhaus to represent him, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com (Twitter link). As a fourth-round rookie last year, Louis started in three of 16 appearances and logged 18 catches for 205 yards. With three years left on his rookie deal and unspectacular production to date, a pay raise isn’t imminent for Louis.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFL Suspends Bengals CB Adam Jones

Bengals cornerback Adam Jones has been suspended for one game for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Jones pled guilty to obstruction of official business stemming from a January 2017 incident.

Jones will appeal the ruling, according to a source who spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Meanwhile, agent Peter Schaffer tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link) that Jones has not yet reached a decision on whether to appeal."<strong

Initially, Jones was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony after an ugly string of incidents. The cornerback allegedly assaulted a man by “pushing and poking” him in the eye in a late-night argument. Then, he refused to stop when ordered to by police and he refused to enter the cop car as he kicked and head-butted officers. Then, when he arrived at jail, he allegedly spit on a nurse, resulting in the felony charge. Despite all of that, Jones was sentenced only to time served, which amounted to two days in jail.

The Bengals anticipated this result and are glad to finally put the matter behind us,” the team said in a statement. “Our focus is getting ready for the upcoming season. Adam will participate in training camp and we are counting on him to help our team when he returns from suspension.”

Jones will be out of action for the season opener against the Ravens on Sept. 10. He’ll be eligible to return for Week 2 against the Texans.

All things considered, the one-game ban isn’t a bad outcome for Jones given his history and the severity of allegations from earlier this year. In Week 1, the Bengals will rely a little more on Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard, and William Jackson III to keep opposing receivers in check. Losing Jones isn’t ideal, but a team could do a lot worse than trotting out three former first-round picks at corner.

The 33-year-old saw his production slip a bit in 2016, grading as only the league’s No. 37 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. In 2015, PFF had him ranked as the NFL’s 15th best corner.

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