An NFL Network report Saturday stated that Jones did speak to Bengals management regarding a trade. The team declined his request.
JungleInsider.com has received confirmation from multiple sources that the story is true but that it is not as big of an issue as the back-and-forth war of words Johnson has had with the team this offseason has been. Jones' disagreement has nothing to do with his contract but rather a difference in opinion with the coaching staff over his lack of playing time early last season. Both Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Jones' agent Ken Zuckerman declined comment on the matter.
Jones had offseason knee surgery last year and missed the start of training camp. He played as a reserve in the preseason and missed the season opener against Baltimore. He played in a reserve role in Games at Cleveland and Seattle before starting for the first time against New England. Jones was pulled in the second quarter from the team's 27-20 loss at Kansas City on Oct. 14 after allowing 2½ sacks against Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen.
Jones started the remainder of the season and steadily improved as the health of the knee improved.
Lewis did speak during a pre-draft press conference to the importance of having Jones and right tackle Willie Anderson healthy for the entire season. Anderson started just five games due to foot troubles.
"I think the way Levi finished the season, we feel good about that," said Lewis. "The fact that with the time that it took in his recovery from his last surgery, once he got that time in recovery and he got into a routine we felt good about that. He practiced more than he had practiced over the last year."