The Bengals, T.O. and Antonio Bryant’s knee

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 18: Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills stands on the sideline during the game against the New York Jets on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Bengals signed Terrell Owens to a one-year, $2 million contract on Tuesday according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In other news, Marvin Lewis also became the spokesperson for Excedrin Migraine.

I like the signing. Actually to be more specific, I like the fit. T.O. could have been toxic to Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez’s development had the Rams or Jets (two teams that had shown interest in the receiver over the last couple of days) signed him. But in Cincinnati he’ll play for a veteran quarterback in Carson Palmer who won’t take his guff and with Pacman Jones, Matt Jones and Tank Johnson already on the roster, there’s no way Owens could pollute the Bengals’ locker room more than it has been over the last couple of years.

But the biggest issue stemming from this signing is what it means to Antonio Bryant. Obviously the knee injury that slowed him in spring practices is still a major concern or else they wouldn’t have signed T.O. Think about it, if they were seriously interested in Owens then why didn’t they sign him before now? What has changed since March (or April, or June, or the first 26 days in July) other than Bryant’s injury worsening?

The other issue is that the Bengals signed Bryant to a four-year, $28 million contract despite there being concerns about his health. He underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee last August and it continued to bother him throughout the season. Yet Cincinnati still gave him a multi-year deal and he’s likely to slide to No. 3 on their depth chart with the signing of Owens.

Considering the Bengals will pound the ball on the ground again this year, they should be fine with Chad Ochocinco, T.O. and a hobbled Bryant in the passing game. (I’m also high on rookie Jordan Shipley, who was nothing short of outstanding as Colt McCoy’s top target at Texas.) But the signing of Owens raises major questions about why the Bengals decided to pay Bryant $7 million a year without being more cautious about his knee injury.

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Report: Bengals signed Matt Jones despite awful work out

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole, the Bengals signed Matt Jones despite the receiver turning in a horrible work out. Apparently Pacman Jones wasn’t impressive either, although he didn’t receive a contract.

“It was one of the worst workouts I have ever seen,” one of the sources said. “I don’t care how fast his 40 time is or was, he’s a slow-twitch athlete.”

“He obviously has great size, but not even that is much of an advantage when you don’t move very fast,” the other source said. “He’s not really the solution to what we need.”

As for Pacman Jones, the word was even worse.

“He worked out, but he wasn’t really ready to work out, if you know what I’m saying,” said the first of the two Cincinnati sources. “If he really wants to get back in the league, I don’t know what he’s been doing to get ready for it.”

I don’t get this signing. About the only route Matt Jones can run with some consistent success is the slant because he can use his size to shield defenders from the ball. But he doesn’t have the speed to be a deep threat, is a bum off the field and if he turned in an awful work out, then why did the Bengals even give him a one-year deal? Because he’s a former first round pick? He shouldn’t have been selected that high anyway.

And is anyone surprised that Pacman Jones was given a chance to work out for a team and he showed up unprepared? What a joke.

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Matt Jones a Bear? Don’t count on it.

Although rumors persist that the Bears could be interested, Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune writes that the team is unlikely to pursue troubled free agent wideout Matt Jones.

“He was a first-round draft pick and he is a very talented player,” Angelo said, “but it’s case by case. We’re not quick to move on any player.”

No doubt the Bears are concerned about Jones’ checkered past, one that included an arrest for cocaine possession last July. Jones, 26, served a three-game league suspension after losing an appeal. After violating terms of a court-mandated drug program by consuming alcohol, he was arrested again and faced further disciplinary action for the 2009 season. But the league decided not to impose another suspension, although Jones was fined $50,000.

In recent years, the Bears cut ties with two players due to off-the-field concerns: running back Cedric Benson and defensive lineman Tank Johnson.

“Guys make mistakes, move on, and become better people,” Angelo said. “Some guys have patterns of bad behavior and continue to have those patterns. I’m not saying that about Matt Jones. What I’m saying is we have to do our homework. And then you have to look at what value that person brings to your football team irrelevant of his off-the-field issues.”

According to a report by, the NFL has already notified Jones that he will not be suspended for violating a court-mandated drug program in March. At 26 years old, Jones is the best receiver left on the market. But even though he’s coming off a productive season (he caught 65 passes in 12 games last year for the Jags), he missed three games last year due to suspension and his motivation and focus have always been questioned.

I would be surprised if the Bears go after Jones given that they made little to no effort to try and sign Torry Holt this offseason before he agreed to terms with the Jaguars. I realize Holt is six years older than Jones is, but he’s obviously less of a risk and he still has a productive season or two left in him.

So maybe Angelo already feels that his wide receiver corps is set with Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Rashied Davis, Brandon Lloyd and rookies Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox. Granted, none of those players will strike fear into an opposing defense outside of Hester’s deep threat ability, but there still is some potential among the group and don’t forget that Greg Olsen is the best receiver on this team. (He just happens to play tight end.)

Jaguars release wide receiver Matt Jones

According to, the Jaguars have released troubled wide receiver Matt Jones.

Matt JonesThe former Arkansas player was charged with cocaine possession in July.

He was suspended for the last three games of the 2008 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In a plea deal, Jones entered a program that emphasizes treatment.

Jones was released a day early from jail Saturday during a weeklong stay for drinking beer in violation of his plea agreement for the drug charge.

The Jaguars picked Jones in the first round of the NFL draft in 2005. Before his suspension last season, Jones was having the best year of his career, with 65 catches for 761 yards and two touchdowns.

What an absolute waste of a first round pick. The Jags knew they were taking a risk by selecting Jones as a wide receiver, even though he played quarterback at Arkansas. And not only did the move backfire on the field, it also caused the team some heartache off it as well. Some team will take a chance on him based on his talent, but he won’t receive more than a one-year deal for the minimum.

Boy, the Jaguars are awfully thin at wide receiver. I’d be shocked if they don’t address the need in one of the first two rounds next month.

Jaguars’ wideout Matt Jones arrested

Matt Jones isn’t a smart man.

Matt JonesJones was called in for random drug test on Feb. 27 as part of his treatment for being caught with cocaine.

The treatment center received the results late last week and tested positive for alcohol.
Jones was in court Monday to be sanctioned for using alcohol.

He admitted to a judge that he drank on Thursday, the day before the test, when he was playing golf with some of his friends.

The judge set his bond at $150,000.

If he does make bond, he’ll have to go to treatment for six weeks.

No man should be crucified for having a few pops with the boys while playing golf. But if you know you could be tested at any point for drugs and/or alcohol and face jail time, why even risk it? This guy was a gigantic waste of a first round pick.

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