By Scott Knudsen
Posted Feb 25, 2008
Nothing promotes sales like winning and entertainment value, and no one understands this concept more than the modern day, Barnum & Bailey carnival barker himself, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
In three words, here’s sales promotion 101: Adam Pacman Jones.
Understanding half the readership of The Ranch Report, possibly more, just shut down, tuned out or stopped reading all together, try to hang tight for a few more paragraphs.
No one will deny there are off-the-field concerns raising questions about responsibility, commitment and discipline. The NFL front office is concerned about these factors, and any future employer can’t simply ignore the past transgressions. Like the current NFL Combine and upcoming Draft, organizations must exercise due diligence and take a hard, insightful look into the heart and soul of Adam Jones.
The Ranch Report decided to do just that, and we recently caught up with Manubir (Manny) S. Arora.
Who’s that, you ask?
Mr. Arora was retained last month and currently represents Adam Jones in the capacities of personal Attorney and Agent.
Recently Arora was most gracious and generous with his time, providing The Ranch Report with tremendous insight regarding the world of Pacman Jones.
Quite simply, attorney and client know things are hovering dangerously close to “last call.”
“As far as the NFL is concerned, he’s on or near his last legs," Arora said. "The Commissioner has made his intentions clear, and the reinstatement criteria are very specific. We’re comfortable the requirements and expectations will be met.”
When asked if a lifetime ban could be completely ruled out at this point, Arora stated, “I fully expect Adam to be reinstated before the 2008 season. However, if there is a lapse in decision making, then the Commissioner has the option to consider a ban."
The NFL recently issued a letter to Arora, and it appears his client is going to wait a while longer before his fate is ultimately decided.
Jones was hoping for a final decision this month, so the delay is a disappointment in Pacman’s camp.
“This kid is full of energy," Arora said. "He’s ready to get back on the field and excel. It’s been hard for him not knowing what his NFL future will be."
Jones has been a regular when it comes to working out and staying in shape. Contrary to many reports, “Pacman is welcome at the Titans’ facility. He is not banned nor has he been told to stay away from the Tennessee Titans. Quite the opposite. He is allowed to participate one day per week at their facility,” Arora said While he continues to work out with the Titans, it’s unknown whether he’ll ultimately be staying in Tennessee.
“Certainly we would like to remain with the Titans and re-build our reputation, but a fresh start in a new organization might be beneficial. A change of scenery can be good for many reasons,” intimated Mr. Arora. “We’re just not sure where Tennessee stands. If they look to trade Adam, we must find a strong organization with very strong leadership.
"Without a doubt, there will be criticism levied against any team that gives Adam a chance at redemption. Thus, the right fit is very important.”
Mr. Arora indicated the Cowboys certainly fit the desired profile.
“Jerry Jones is a strong owner and a proven leader. Over the years the Cowboys have given players with a plethora of issues another chance. The Terrell Owens acquisition is just a recent example. The Cowboys have enjoyed risk-taking success, and they have leaders within their player ranks. Adam will need a good group of leaders around him,” said Arora. “If not Tennessee, then whichever team it ends up being, they’ll be getting a game changer.”
Jones’ on-field exploits can’t be denied.
Simply put, he is explosive and can score from anywhere on the field at any given time. He’s very dangerous with the ball in his hands. Devin Hester has better career return stats, but when you combine Pacman’s defensive prowess with his exemplary return skills, he’s the total package.
In this two years in the league, he was dominant as a returning, bringing back four kicks for touchdowns. He was also solid as cornerback, picking off four passes in 2006. Obviously, his ability to dictate field position is a huge asset, and it’s hard to argue against him accounting for six to seven points/contest in field position alone. Many feel he is directly attributable for two wins/season.
Only the playoff victory drought is longer than the number of years the Cowboys have gone without a punt return for a touchdown. That figure stands at six years. Ouch.
It goes without saying the Cowboys need an instantaneous game changer. Adam Jones has a package not seen in these parts since Deion Sanders roamed Texas Stadium.
Yes, he’s that good.
The question the Cowboys need to answer is could he be the next Charles Haley? Could he be that one piece that puts the Cowboys over the top?
Charles was the icing on a very good cake in the early ‘90’s, and Pacman could provide the same “tip the scales” décor. It’s no secret Jones would welcome the chance to play for Dallas, as evident by the video that surfaced on the internet within the last couple of months with him saying as much.
Mr. Arora admitted to seeing the video which made the internet rounds.
“I did see it, and I believe it was done some time last summer," he said. "If given the chance, I think Dallas could be a good fit for Adam. When he was growing up, Adam, like most young boys, dreamed about playing for the Cowboys. He just wants to play. He needs to get back to playing ball.”
While Jones awaits the League’s green light, he’s been spending a ton of time with his 2-year-old daughter, Zaniyah. Together, Jones and Arora are seeking community outreach as an avenue of reclamation.
“Adam has been asked to get involved in an Atlanta organization for children being raised by a grandmother," he said. "He’s giving back to those who are being raised the same way he was brought up. He’s also offered to visit college campuses to help players on those teams understand the temptations of the real world. He wants them to know that regardless of your talent and the accolades people shower upon you, your actions have very serious consequences. He wants others to learn from his mistakes."
He went on to say, “While there have been errors in judgment, Adam has also been a victim of circumstance. Many of the reported instances receiving high profile attention have almost always resulted in Adam being cleared or showing that Adam was not directly involved. However, this doesn’t excuse him from poor decision making and going to places he should not.”
So, what’s next?
“We seek a final decision before the NFL Draft. Ideally, we’d like to move forward during the free agency period. It would allow teams to make decisions before signing free agents and drafting for need. Teams need to know their cap position entering the acquisition season.”
Mr. Arora feels if released or traded by the Titans, Pacman Jones would come “reasonably” to any recipient.
“I don’t know what Tennessee would seek in a trade. The Commissioner must approve any trade offer due to Adam’s suspension. If traded, the new organization inherits the remainder of Adam’s contract,” said Arora. “Last year didn’t count. There are several years remaining. However, the current contract could be renegotiated in a trade scenario.”
It’s highly likely a team seeking Jones in a trade or exchange for a draft pick would look to restructure the current deal.
“We’re ready for that,” intimated Arora.
Arora said the Titans have not instructed him to field other others for Jones and he's well aware that Jones could end up playing again for Tennessee.
“It’s certainly a possibility," he said. "He has friends on this team, and they want him to stay in Tennessee.”
This situation will certainly be watched closely by anyone following the NFL. What’s at stake is the fate of a NFL playmaker. A change of venue could substantially alter the balance of power. It was very clear the Jones’ camp would pursue the Cowboys if given the chance to shop.
“They have the structure and strong ownership we would desire,” said Arora. “Dallas presents great potential for success, but the final decision rests with Titans’ GM Mike Reinfeldt. We just have to wait and see.”
If the Tennessee Titans decide against Jones’ services, why shouldn’t Jerry Jones entertain conversation with Arora and Jones?
Adam "Pacman" Jones is Jerry Jones’ type of player. The blue print is already in place. The organization doesn’t have to re-invent the consequential wheel. The same behavioral clauses and expectations in the Terrell Owens and Tank Johnson contracts should be duplicated. As with both players, the organization would insert an “instant out” if they don’t like any aspect of the Jones’ arrival. These, the last chance, odds are the challenges Jerry relishes. He completely understands what it means to stick his neck out and take a risk. While there are potential pitfalls, the upside is massive. A game-changing, playmaking force at the age of 24….what’s not to like?
Everyone needs to remember Adam Jones and his current predicament are the products of bad judgment, lack of discretion and a twinge of arrogance; sprinkled with a smidge of defiance.
And was it mentioned he’s just 24?
Indeed, immaturity is at play, but the man is not a locker room cancer. No doubt his actions have had a “team” impact, but more due to absence than being pegged as a team renegade.
At this point the Jones’ camp is really out of options. The next phase of his professional football career has to work. He was born to play football. He needs to play football. He needs role models and ass-kickers that will get in his face. Low and behold, the Cowboys just added a “classic” in the leadership category.
How appropriately timed: Zach Thomas adds instant credibility and one Pacman would be wise to emulate on and off the field.
Just to make things interesting, at last look, no one on the current Cowboys’ roster possesses the No. 32. “Jones” would look spectacular on the back of the Cowboys jersey. Although, with the anticipated departure of free agent Julius Jones, how would Pacman feel about donning the former Prime Time No. 21?
To see Adam Jones in Deion’s old threads would be worth the weight in gold not to mention the price of admission. And speaking of admission, did we mention Jerry is looking to sell some tickets to the grand opening of the Arlington Taj Mahal? Adam Jones will sell tickets. Lots of them. If the opportunity knocks, it’s a potential blockbuster door Jerry must open.
Mr. Jones, meet Mr. Jones.