The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are not only planning to add former Dallas Cowboys defensive back Adam (Pacman) Jones to their roster this week, but may also sign another former NFL first-round draft pick who has had trouble with the law.
According to a CFL source, agent Jason Fletcher told a league executive on Monday that Jones and wide receiver Charles Rogers had agreed to join the Bombers.
Both players are represented by Fletcher, who when contacted yesterday, said: "I'm not looking to make any further comments."
The Bombers yesterday also would not comment. However, according to CFL sources, Rogers was added to Winnipeg's confidential negotiation list on Aug. 16, and Jones was added on Monday.
It is believed lawyers were busy yesterday preparing documents for Immigration Canada to get Jones and possibly Rogers to enter the country as soon as today.
Jones, the No. 6 pick in the 2005 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2007 season after being arrested six times and involved in 12 instances requiring police intervention. He was later traded to Dallas, where he was suspended for six games last season after an altercation with his bodyguard.
The 25-year-old has been living in Atlanta, weighing the possibility of playing in the up-start United Football League, waiting for an NFL opportunity or trying the CFL.
Rogers, drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions in 2003, also had a sharp fall from grace, suffering from injuries and substance abuse during a brief NFL career (2003-05) and then running into trouble with the law afterward.
Rogers, 28, was profiled last month on ESPN's Outside the Lines, during which he spoke about hitting rock bottom last year, when he went to court for assaulting the mother of four children of his seven children. He said he was training to get back into football.
"I'll see if I can get back at what I do best, play this game of football," Rogers said in the broadcast. "I'm all in."
The Bombers' discussions about Jones had been going on for roughly a month. When he needed some convincing to come to Canada, he spoke to his former West Virginia University teammate Lance Frazier, now with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
While his ability to cover receivers and return kicks could make Jones an ideal CFL player, the league's other seven teams hadn't been interested in him. That's largely because former NFL players who had serious brushes with the law - such as Dexter Manley, Lawrence Phillips or Todd Marinovich - haven't panned out playing north of the border.
"Teams think there's something still there," one CFL source said. "That's why no one wants to touch [Jones]"
Jones's attorney said yesterday his client sees the CFL as a way of proving himself to the 32 NFL teams who took a pass on him this off-season.
"He's still young and has lots of playing days ahead of him," Worrick Robinson said. "If the CFL deal works out, it will be a good opportunity for him to get back on the field and show what he can do.
"It is a good opportunity for him to show the teams in the NFL that he has matured, that he's concentrating on the game, concentrating on his family and trying to leave the past the past."
Jones's most-infamous brush with the law occurred in February of 2007, in the wake of a shooting at a Las Vegas strip club that injured three people. For his role in the incident, he was given a suspended sentence of one year, plus probation.
Obscured by his off-field problems is the fact Jones has been a good football player, having a kick-return average of better than 26 yards during his two years with Tennessee, and a punt-return average of roughly 11 yards. Both those numbers dipped with the Cowboys last season, leading one NFL executive to suggest Jones's skills had diminished by late last season.
Rogers, who was given a six-year, $55-million (U.S.) contract by the Lions that included a $14-million signing bonus, never started more than five games in any of his three NFL seasons and caught just 36 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns.
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