Time to take a chance on Pacman?
There is a buzz—a small buzz—around the league right now about former Titans and Cowboys CB Pacman Jones after he recently worked out for teams down in New Orleans and posted 40-times in the mid 4.4 range.
But, will the Lions or the Niners—the two teams who have reportedly shown the most interest—actually make a play for this guy?
We all know about Pacman’s off-the-field issues, and there is no need to even get into that, because the mere fact that teams showed up for a private workout should tell us that there is interest—despite character concerns.
However, a workout for a guy who has been out of football since 2008 isn’t going to tell us much. The 40 times? A good number, but a number that we see from plenty of rookie prospects who don’t have the baggage and did play competitive football in 2009.
Instead, to see the true value of Jones, a club has to sign him and get him into their off-season program to see if he has any dedication to the game and see him on the field—mini camps, OTAs and training camps. He needs work, and he needs to get that work against NFL receivers and NFL quarterbacks in a competitive setting. One-on-ones, team drills and the individual drills done in a practice environment to get his footwork and his technique back up to game speed. Not to mention the preseason come August to see if he can tackle, and play within the defensive system.
And, even then, you are looking at a corner who was sloppy in the past, takes chances at the corner position and was an average player during his time with the Cowboys. And, as Michael Lombardi wrote this morning, a lack of impressive tape to watch.
Special teams? Jones was dynamic in the past as a returner, but he will have to make a club as a corner first before he can start bringing back kicks.
I wrote about the Lions the first weekend of free agency because they made moves to upgrade their roster. Nate Burleson, Kyle Vanden Bosch and the trade for Corey Williams. For Schwartz to start winning, he has to improve that roster from top to bottom. Is this another one of those moves? Pacman to Detroit? Possibly, if Detroit thinks he can upgrade the corner position.
NFL teams will experiment with veteran players all of the time in the off-season when there is no money tied into the deal. And, that seems to be the only way that Pacman will have a chance to play his way back into the league.
Now, he just needs a team to take a low-risk chance on him—again.
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