CINCINNATI -- Anyone covering the Bengals sees an Adam Jones who is approachable, funny, a good quote, a player who can give you the pulse of the club.
He’s a guy who set up the big bicycle giveaway, a guy who talks about putting family first. There’s an edge to him, some saltiness. Television videographers have to carefully edit his comments.
But obviously there’s another Adam Jones, and, as hard as Jones works to put that guy in the past, he surfaces. A personal foul penalty after being baited by an opponent is one thing; what police allege happened early Tuesday morning at a Downtown hotel is a whole other thing.
It’s a thing that should end Jones' career with the Bengals immediately.
Here’s what happened, according to the wcpo.com report:
The 33-year-old Bengals cornerback stands charged with assault for "pushing and poking (a man) in the eye," according to court documents.
The documents also say Jones refused to enter the police cruiser by pulling away, kicking and head-butting an officer as he was being arrested.
While Jones was being processed into the Hamilton County Justice Center, documents say he spat on a nurse's hand, resulting in the final count of harassment with a bodily substance.
Jones denied the allegations in court Tuesday.
But this, of course, is just the latest incident for Jones, dating back to the beginning of his NFL career. He’s been a relatively good citizen most of his time with the Bengals. He credits Marvin Lewis with that.
"I can't speak for everybody, but for myself, the man saved my life," Jones said after the season finale.
But this latest incident is the fourth for Jones as a Bengal involving police -- and by far the most serious. Spitting on a nurse is a felony charge.
The Bengals have always given players second and third chances. It’s hard to argue that Jones deserves a fifth.
One of the keys for the Bengals getting over the hump as a franchise is getting players to play with more discipline in critical moments. Jones lost control in the Wild Card game last season with Pittsburgh. He was flagged for a personal foul in the Pittsburgh game that eliminated the Bengals this year.
Given that Jones has tremendous influence in the locker room, it may have been time to move on based on the on-the-field stuff.
This incident makes the decision very easy.
John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.