Trade talks involving the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys for suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones have heated up once again.
After being quiet in the days after the NFL owners meetings last week, trade talks appear to be once again gathering steam and the sides are getting closer, according to sources.
A league source indicated to The City Paper late last week that a trade involving Jones was “still likely” to happen, despite a statement from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones late last week that he did not know whether the deal would happen.
One of Jones’ representatives acknowledged that the two sides are talking again after both teams could not reach an agreement at the owners meetings early last week.
“It is my understanding that some new dialogue has taken place, but I’m not sure to what extent,” said Nashville attorney Worrick Robinson, who is one of Jones’ agents, along with Manny Arora.
The NFL Network reported that a deal could happen soon. However, there are still issues that must be resolved.
Two hurdles that have stalled the deal from the start remain to be cleared to make a trade plausible. The first is compensation, where the Titans are asking for a fourth-round pick and another choice. The Cowboys' offer has increased in the past couple of days but not yet to the Titans' satisfaction.
The second item of business that could keep the trade from being completed is the matter of money owned to Jones by the Titans and the club’s request that the cornerback pay back part of the bonus money from his original contract.
The Titans apparently owe Jones around $1.25 million in roster bonus money that he earned before being suspended a year ago. However, the Titans are interested in trying to recoup a portion of Jones’ original signing bonus _ some of the $13 million in guarantees they gave him. Those guarantees, however, were not paid in a lump sum signing bonus, but in installments, some of which are apparently still owed to the cornerback.
Regarding that obstacle, the Titans can trade Jones without the money issues being resolved, and both sides would reserve the right to pursue a grievance against each other even if he were no longer Tennessee’s property. However, both sides would prefer final closure in regards to the money before a trade is finalized.
There is also, of course, the matter of when Jones will be reinstated to the NFL from his suspension.
Jones has applied for reinstatement twice already and been denied by Commissioner Roger Goodell. The first time came after 10 games of the 2007 season. Then, in February, Jones’ suspension was extended after Goodell had said it would be reviewed at the end of the Titans’ season in January. Jones’ representatives were told that his situation would be reviewed sometime before training camp.
Arora said he will apply for reinstatement sometime before the draft and told The City Paper last week that the application is expected to come this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday.