NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a reminder to Adam “Pacman” Jones at Monday’s league meetings that no matter what team he belongs to, his fate is still tied directly to any decision the commissioner makes on his reinstatement.
“In my last correspondence with Adam, I told him I would make a decision prior to the start of training camp,” Goodell told media members gathered in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday for the NFL’s annual spring meetings. “I have seen some of his recent comments that he made on the Michael Irvin radio show, and I think some of those comments are encouraging. I’ve always said that he has to accept responsibility for his actions and that when he does I would reconsider his status.”
Goodell’s comments came as the Titans and Dallas Cowboys continue to talk, while other clubs apparently inquire about the suspended cornerback’s availability as well.
Goodell indicated in February that he would review Jones’ status sometime before the opening of training camps in July, but Jones’ attorney and agent Manny Arora has indicated he would like to have Goodell review Jones’ situation before the April 26-27 Draft in order to give him a better chance of landing on a roster with a specified role for 2008.
“Nothing has really changed from the letter the commissioner sent out in February. He is continuing to monitor our progress and has said he will review the case sometime before training camps open,” said Arora, who plans to apply for reinstatement about two weeks before the draft.
The Cowboys remain the frontrunner to acquire Jones, but Goodell said he has told teams who have inquired about Jones that he makes no promises regarding reinstatement _ that the onus is clearly on Jones to show he has taken steps to improve his behavior.
“The clubs that contacted us, I have made no commitments about his availability,” Goodell said. “I said I would make an evaluation and a decision prior to training camp, but there have been no promises made by me about what the outcome is. I’ve been very clear. I’d like to see how Pacman does and how he responds. They know the consequences; they know the status of the player.
“I assume there will be consideration for that, and I don’t feel any obligation to do any more than I’ve said, which is to reconsider his status. If he doesn’t meet that standard, I don’t feel any obligation to reinstate him.”
Said Arora, “We will apply for reinstatement now, and if that is denied, then we’ll try again in about a month or so.”
Regarding a trade to Dallas, ESPN reported Monday that the talks hit a snag because of the Titans’ increased asking price. However, a league source indicated to The City Paper that the price apparently has gone up because other teams have recently expressed renewed interest toward possibly acquiring Jones themselves, causing the stall with Dallas and the apparent increased price tag.
The Cowboys reportedly offered a seventh-round pick, and the ESPN report had the Titans seeking a fourth-rounder this season, plus a 2009 selection as well.
COMPENSATORY PICK: The Titans were awarded a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft as a compensatory selection for the unrestricted free agents they lost last off-season. Chief among them were receivers Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade and defensive tackle Robaire Smith while signing Nick Harper and Justin Gage.
The Titans will have pick No. 134 overall in the draft as their compensatory selection, bringing their total number of picks in the draft to seven. Tennessee dealt a sixth-round pick to Seattle early last season in exchange for defensive end Bryce Fisher.
CLEARED TO GO: In an e-mail circulated to league general managers and scouting personnel, agent Chad Speck declared his client Malcolm Kelly fully healed and ready to participate in his pro day April 9 at the University of Oklahoma.
Kelly, regarded as one of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2008 draft, was hampered by a quadriceps tear. But in the letter from Speck, Dr. Michael Hatrak said Kelly’s injury showed “no further risk of injury” and that an MRI showed “all other structures assessed were within normal limits.”