IRVING, Texas —The Tennessee Titans finally washed their hands of suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones on Wednesday, agreeing in principle to trade him to the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple confirmed the teams had an agreement, but no terms had been filed with the NFL office, which already had closed for the day.
The Titans also confirmed the deal, adding that terms had to be finalized. The team had no further comment beyond a two-sentence e-mail.
Dalrymple declined to discuss specifics of the trade.
“What I can confirm is that we have agreed in principle with the Tennessee Titans on a trade that will bring Adam Jones to the Cowboys,” Dalrymple said.
He declined to say who or what the Cowboys might give up in the trade. Specifics likely will be announced Thursday or Friday, Dalrymple said.
ESPN.com reported the deal involved a fourth-round draft pick this weekend and another in 2009 if Jones plays this season. The Titans would pay back that selection in 2009 if Jones is not reinstated for this season.
Agent Manny Arora said Wednesday night that they had not been told of the trade by either team, but were cautiously optimistic. Jones has talked often of his desire to play for the Cowboys in recent weeks, even appearing on Michael Irvin’s radio show in Texas.
“We recognize the fact of where we are with regards to the league,” Arora said. “We recognize the fact he’s got a guaranteed contract with Tennessee, and we recognize the fact there’s risks involved at this point. We also recognize there’s significant public relations implications for the teams, and in fact Dallas has to sell tickets, the knowledge their fan base has a point of view.
“With all that in mind, we’ve said from Day 1 we’re willing to rework our contract. Once the trade gets completed or official, we’ll be ready to do our part because we want to play for Dallas. I don’t have any hesitation saying we can get this done and get it done quickly.”
Jones was scheduled for a base salary of $1.74 million in 2008 and had been under contract through 2009 before his suspension.
He was the first defensive player drafted in 2005, sixth overall out of West Virginia, and easily was Tennessee’s best defender in 2005 and ‘06. His four career interceptions came in 2006 as he helped the Titans to an 8-8 record. He also led the NFL in punt-return average in 2006 with 12.9 yards per return and three touchdowns.
But six arrests and 12 incidents where police were called since being drafted led to his suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in April 2007 for the season. Goodell declined to ease that punishment when Jones appealed to return after sitting out 10 games and now will only say that he’ll reconsider reinstating the cornerback before training camps open.
The Titans gave Jones permission to talk to other teams weeks ago, and the cornerback had been barred from working out on their property in February. The Titans and Cowboys nearly had a deal at the NFL owners’ meetings last month, but talks stalled over the issue of compensation for someone who hadn’t played since December 2006.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones said twice in the past week, including Tuesday, that the trade was stuck in neutral. But Pacman Jones, baggage and all, is a top cornerback and a dynamic kick returner who can fill some of the Cowboys’ biggest weaknesses.
Jones also has been very successful lately offering second, and third, chances to players like receiver Terrell Owens. The latest reclamation project was Tank Johnson, who signed during the 2007 season while he was still suspended.
The Titans might have been more eager to trade Jones after news surfaced Monday night that the cornerback had paid money to a 29-year-old man arrested for a Las Vegas strip club shooting in February 2007 that left a club employee paralyzed.
A police report said that in the weeks after the shooting, Jones paid $15,000 to the man, who threatened to hurt the cornerback, his daughter and his mother. Jones picked the man out of a police lineup last Friday, helping fulfill part of the plea deal he agreed to last December when reducing two felony counts of coercion to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.
But he will have to testify under that plea deal. Jones’ attorney, Robert Langford, said Wednesday the trade had “nothing to do” with the legal case in Las Vegas and declined further comment.