NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones is hoping his suspension doesn’t keep him out of training camp or preseason games, his agent said Tuesday.
Agent Michael Huyghue said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell never ruled out training camp or preseason games when he suspended the cornerback for the 2007 season for his off-field conduct. Jones can have his case reviewed after the Titans’ 10th game.
“Now we’re optimistic that Pac will get to participate in training camp and play in preseason games,” Huyghue said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. That’s a determination the commissioner is going to make.”
News of Jones possibly taking part in training camp first was reported by ESPN.com and indicated Jones dropped his appeal for the chance to take part in the preseason.
But according to league sources, the commissioner did not agree to let Jones participate in training camp in exchange for dropping the appeal. Goodell did agree to consider allowing Jones to take part in camp – but not exhibitions – if Jones followed the terms of his suspension.
The NFL employees spoke on condition of anonymity because the commissioner hasn’t made a decision. Goodell has been monitoring Jones’ case and will advise him of a decision before the Titans open camp begins July 27.
Asked if Jones dropped the appeal to ease the terms of his suspension, Huyghue said, “Pac realized if he was going to get an opportunity to practice and perform, he needed to withdraw the appeal.”
Training camp and exhibition games were not included in the list of conditions for Jones when suspended April 10.
Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry, suspended for eight games that same day, specifically was allowed in the suspension to take part in training camp and exhibitions if he met all his other conditions.
Huyghue said the commissioner has allowed Jones to visit the Titans more than the once-weekly visit starting June 1 permitted in the original suspension. Now they are waiting, and hoping, Goodell lets Jones join the Titans in the preseason.
“We’re preparing as if we’re going,” Huyghue said.
Since dropping his appeal, Jones was arrested June 22 on two felony counts of coercion in connection with a Feb. 19 fight at a Las Vegas strip club that led to a shooting and one man paralyzed.
Atlanta police also want to talk to him as a witness to a strip club fight June 18 where shots were exchanged between two cars. On July 5, a Tennessee judge postponed public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges until Jan. 3, pending the Las Vegas case.
If allowed to return, Jones might not be very welcome when the Titans open camp next Friday in Nashville. Coach Jeff Fisher has refused to discuss Jones, saying only that he and the team have moved on.
But the Titans can’t release Jones until he has served his suspension without losing the chance to recoup some of the guaranteed money he has been paid. He’s scheduled to earn $1.3 million this season.
The Titans have worked to fill the void left by Jones’ suspension by signing free agent Nick Harper in March and picking up Kelly Herndon in June after he was released by Seattle. They also used their first-round pick, 19th overall, on safety Michael Griffin and are converting him to cornerback.
Reynaldo Hill, who has started 24 games the past two seasons, also is healthy from leg injuries that slowed him in 2006. They drafted cornerback Ryan Smith of Florida in the sixth round and agreed to terms last week.
Huyghue didn’t sound worried about Jones standing and watching if allowed to practice in camp.
“There’s never a shortage of active or available bodies at training camp irrespective of the other moves the Titans have made,” Huyghue said. “If he’s able to practice and perform, there’ll be an opportunity for him to do that.”