Rumor Mill: Pats Interested in Pacman Jones?

A recent report indicates the New England Patriots are interested in possibly acquiring the services of suspended defensive back and kick returner Adam Pacman Jones. PI spoke with a league insider to find out if the Patriots are actually a possible destination. Here's what we've heard.

RUMOR MILL: Patriots Interested in Pacman Jones?


Buzz: A report coming from the Tennesseen lists the Patriots as one of eight teams expressing some interest in the Titan's former first round Draft pick Adam Pacman Jones. Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Oakland, Kansas City, Houston and New Orleans are the others. With the losses of Randall Gay and Asante Samuel to their defense, the Patriots are believed to be at least considering trying to revamp Jones' career and his image like they did with Corey Dillon and Randy Moss previously.

Reality: What we'v ebeen told is that Dallas is the leading contender, and Miami is No. 2 on the list. New England could get involved, but why would they want to? There are other talented corners avaialble with the No. 7 overall pick in April's Draft and the Patriots just acquired a possible starter in Jason Webster.

Jones isn't really on the list of serious candidates to join the Patriots considering how much attention he has given to the Dallas Cowboys, and the attention they have given to possibly acquiring him. ESPN has a recording of Jones going on the record saying "I would loooove to play for the Cowboys, America's team." There is a video of Jones on ESPN where he made those comments.

Jones was suspended last year by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for a series of off the field incidents, one in which a man was shot and paralyzed and another where Jones allegedly bit a police officer. Goodell has stated he has no intention of lifting that suspension "anytime soon."

Reports out of ('s Cowboys affiliate) include an exclusive interview with Jones' agent which covers Jones' suspension and the possible connection between Tennessee's defensive back and the Cowboys.

Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli have made some eye-opening roster moves in the past, but this one we believe would be an act of desperation. The level of compensation to Tennessee would also have to be determined. Jones is suspended, but he hasn't been released.

Tennessee Titans punt returner Pacman Jones (32) high-steps into the end zone as he returns a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the second quarter of an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn., in this Dec. 31, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/John Russell)

Impact: Jones would have to prove he's past getting into trouble with the law. There are reports that he had close to 10 separate incidents in recent years - far to many to simply overlook.

Signing the talented defensive back could solve two issues facing the Patriots. The first is that Jones would assume Asante Samuel's role as the starting cornerback on one side of the field opposite Ellis Hobbs. The other is that Jones' return skills could give the Patriots an added weapon on special teams.

The Patriots need defensive help, and Jones is among the top talent available at cornerback. If he had his head screwed on straight, he might be able to fit into the Patriots defensive scheme. At that point, it would be up to Jones whether he could fit the Patriot "culture" of professionalism and put the team first.

Without additional free agent help, New England is expected to start Jason Webster on one side, with Ellis Hobbs on the other. Brandon Meriweather -- the team's 2007 first round Draft pick -- can fill in at both the nickle and dime positions, likely securing one of the backup roles. Free agent acquisition Lewis Sanders who has starting experience, can backup the other side. Antwain Spann played in eight games for the Patriots last season mostly on special teams isn't likely to challenge for a starter role, but adds depth. 2007 Draft pick Mike Richardson who had an impressive preseason last year, is another possible option.

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