|Titans cornerback caught speeding days before appeal hearing|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 May 2007 12:25|
Jones met Friday in New York with the man who suspended him from the NFL for the 2007 season for conduct detrimental to the league. The cornerback appealed for leniency during his second meeting with Goodell since April 3.
But Goodell went into the hearing knowing Nashville police ticketed Jones for speeding four days before Friday's hearing. League officials declined to comment, and a decision was not expected Friday.
Jones' lawyer, Manny Arora, accompanied the player, but didn't immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press after the hearing.
Jones and his attorneys argued the suspension for 16 games was ``unprecedented'' in its harshness for someone who has not been convicted despite five arrests and 10 incidents in which he has talked with police since the Titans drafted him in 2005.
In a 24-page letter to the league last week, they detailed at least 283 arrests since January 2000 in which none of the players involved had been suspended for a full season. The letter also said Jones, whose own arrests weren't on the list, could take the league to court.
His latest incident only involved a traffic citation, which included not having his driver's license.
Jones was stopped at 12:45 a.m. Monday on Interstate 65 heading into downtown after an officer clocked him on radar at 79 mph in a 55 mph zone. Jones was driving his red 2004 Cadillac XLT he bought at police auction last fall.
Police seized the Cadillac last spring in a drug bust. The car was not registered to Jones then, but he told a local TV reporter he had loaned the Cadillac to someone for a music video. Police called the man who had the car the main target of their investigation.
That can't impress Goodell, who warned both Jones and Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry, suspended for eight games, when the suspensions were announced April 10.
``I must emphasize to you that this is your last opportunity to salvage your NFL career,'' Goodell wrote in letters to the players.
Jones' punishment stemmed from arrests in February for obstruction of police in Georgia and public intoxication and disorderly conduct in August 2006. Goodell also wasn't happy Jones failed to report the February arrest and a March arrest for marijuana possession, which was later dismissed.
Henry, a teammate of Jones at West Virginia, has served two days in jail for his legal troubles. He did not appeal his suspension.
The commissioner told Jones his case could be reviewed after 10 games, which would be Nov. 19 for the Titans. But Jones has to meet several conditions, including not having any ``adverse'' involvement with police - that has proven tough for Jones.
Las Vegas police have recommended charges against Jones for inciting a strip club fight in February during NBA All-Star weekend that resulted in a triple shooting and one man paralyzed.
A Tennessee prosecutor may pull a plea agreement for the August 2006 arrest, and the Georgia case has been postponed until fall.
Jones' only public comments have been with the NFL Network, an ESPN reporter covering a boxing match at a Mississippi casino and that newspaper ad he bought. In that ad, Jones promised to stop making poor choices and that he would return to West Virginia to finish his degree.
West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said he had not heard from Jones last month. A message left Friday for an associate athletic director was not immediately returned.
The Titans aren't sure they want Jones back.
They signed veteran cornerback Nick Harper and used their top draft pick on safety Michael Griffin last month and are trying to switch him to cornerback. Owner Bud Adams wants Jones to prove he has cleaned up his off-field behavior before they take him back.