The status of Adam “Pacman” Jones’ return to football and a potential trade to Dallas remain uncertain with revelations Monday night that Jones had paid $15,000 in extortion money to the accused gunman in the Minxx Gentleman’s Club triple shooting.
Jones has maintained that he does not know the accused shooter, Arvin Kenti Edwards, 29, of Renton, Wash., and made the payments out of fear that harm would be done to him or his family if he did not do so. Jones, who picked Edwards out of a lineup on Friday, is also hopeful that his cooperation in the case will bolster his chances to return to the NFL. Jones has been suspended from the league for more than a year.
In regards to the status of a trade, the Tennessee Titans have declined comment on the latest development in the case.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has been the leading pursuer in trading for the cornerback, told The Dallas Morning News that he did not have enough facts on the matter to comment on it.
“I only know what I’ve read about that, and take that on its face,” Jerry Jones was quoted on the newspaper’s Web site. “I think we’re about in the same place we have been. As I’ve mentioned, and I’m going to repeat it one more time, I thought at the owner’s meeting, I thought that we’d get something resolved. And since we didn’t, I don’t know that this draft is going to create a lot of energy either.”
Trade talks have cooled in the past week or so because of draft preparations, but were believed to still be alive with draft weekend approaching. It is not yet known how the latest developments might affect negotiations.
Jones’ attorney and agent Manny Arora, who represents the cornerback along with Nashville attorney Worrick Robinson, said he hoped the Titans and Cowboys would not be deterred by a situation in which his client was a victim of extortion.
“I really don’t think it will affect anything with the trade,” Arora said. “I think we’re dealing with smart business people here, and I would hope that they would use the same rationale as they would any other business decision and see that Adam has cooperated fully with the police in this matter.”
Jones’ reinstatement is also a matter that still is undetermined. Roger Goodell said in February he wanted to see an extended period of good behavior from Jones and would review his situation sometime before the opening of training camp. With this new information surfacing, it remains to be seen what affect it might have.
“The commissioner will take into account all relevant information in making his decision about Adam Jones’ status for the 2008 season,” NFL Senior Vice President of Public Relations Greg Aiello said.
Arora said he has made an attempt to keep Goodell in the loop as developments arise regarding his client.
“We have kept the commissioner’s office apprised of any developments in this case,” Arora said.
Jones, according to the police report, began cooperating with Las Vegas Police on Sept. 17, 2007, nearly seven months after the Feb. 19, 2007, incident inside the club. Asked why there was a seven-month delay in Jones coming forward with the information regarding Edwards and what he had done to him, as well as the shooting, Arora said Las Vegas Police had incorrectly targeted Jones in the investigation, causing a delay.
“From day one, we have cooperated completely with the police in this matter and offered whatever assistance we can provide to them in this investigation,” Arora said. “The matter was complicated based on some of the erroneous public comments made by police regarding Adam in the matter.”
According to the report, Jones was told after being evicted from the Minxx Club with his entourage, that a man, later identified as Edwards, approached him and said he “would take care of it,” to which Jones said he replied “whatever.”
About a week later, a man identifying himself as “P” began making phone calls to Jones and demanding payment for what the report said was “services rendered.”
The report stated that Jones said he did not order a hit and refused to pay, but friends of Jones who had been contacted by go-betweens and acquaintances of Edwards, said it would be in his best interests to make a payment, and apparently threatened Jones and his family.
The report said Jones wired a total of $3,800 to a woman named Sheena Staltz in Seattle on April 3, 2007, and later May 4, 2007. Later, a balance payment of $11,200 was given to Edward “Slugga” Morris, an acquaintance of both Jones and Edwards with a lengthy criminal record.
Jones’ and Morris’ paths then crossed in an Atlanta strip club and Morris was said in the report to have told Jones that he had made a “good choice” in paying the money.
Arora also indicated he hopes people will read through the warrant and not jump to false conclusion about Jones having any direct involvement with Edwards.
“I just hope people will see through the media hype and the innuendo and read the warrant for what it says,” Arora said.