Blue Bombers state 'Pacman' Jones will not join the team

The Canadian Press
9/3/2009 1:38:08 PM
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WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won't be signing Adam (Pacman) Jones after all, and head coach Mike Kelly apologized for the way the situation was handled.

The team announced Wednesday it has ended its pursuit of the controversial ex-NFL cornerback, one day after a source told The Canadian Press that Jones had agreed to join the Bombers.

"I would like to apologize to the faithful fans and the Blue Bomber organization that this distraction took up so much of our time," Kelly said Wednesday night.

"But understand that our team is focused on the task at hand, which is representing Winnipeg and the football club to the best of our abilities in the Labour Day Classic."

A league source requesting anonymity told The Canadian Press that Jones was having trouble crossing the border into Canada because of his past legal troubles, and that played a major part in the Bombers' decision. Kelly, however, wouldn't get into specifics.

"The information that was provided concerning our interest in Adam Jones was premature and sensationalized," Kelly said.

"We had not completed all of our due diligence, and once that was completed we felt it was in the best interests of our football club that we would no longer pursue Adam Jones."

The news of Jones's possible signing had made headlines on both sides of the border as the 3-5 Bombers prepared to take on the 4-4 Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina on Sunday.

A report on Sports Illustrated's had also quoted Bombers' director of player personnel John Murphy about the team closing in on a deal with Jones, a statement Kelly didn't know about or approve.

"Outside sources and, unfortunately, a member of our own organization spoke prematurely and that adds to the fact that we will not talk about people that are on our negotiation list, people that we are negotiating with," Kelly said. "And we will not announce anything until all the proper paperwork is in line and registered with the Canadian Football League.

"Unfortunate incidents like this are exactly what we are trying to avoid. Hopefully, all the way around people have learned lessons."

Tuesday night, Jones was in a webcam video on an Internet site talking about joining the Bombers. In the video, he mixed up the CFL with the NFL and the new United Football League.

He also showed his muscles and bragged about how he could make a huge impact on the CFL and would only stay with the Bombers until an NFL team called him.

"I am aware of the video that was posted," Kelly said. "There were many components to this decision being made and that was one of the components."

Jones is a former first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans who has twice been suspended by the NFL for off-field incidents. He was released in February by the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season after he pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in connection to a shooting incident in Las Vegas. He was given a one-year suspended sentence for the charge.

The cornerback's time with the Cowboys was cut short last season for another behaviour-related suspension, an off-field scuffle with a member of the security detail provided by the team.

Before joining the Cowboys, Jones was arrested six times and involved in 12 instances requiring police intervention.

While the Blue Bombers ultimately opted to pass on Jones, CFL teams have often taken on a troubled former NFL star looking to resurrect or continue his career in Canada.

Ricky Williams spent the entire 2006 season with the Toronto Argonauts while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Former NFL first-round draft pick Lawrence Phillips -- who was sentenced 10 years in jail in 2008 for seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon -- spent time with Montreal and Calgary in 2002 and '03.

Receiver Andre (Bad Moon) Rison spent the '04 season with Toronto despite having been arrested several times for failing to pay child support.

-- With files from Dan Ralph in Toronto

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