There are few things that can give a football fan hope like a mid-round pick succeeding in his rookie year beyond all expectations. And even fewer things that can sink that hope faster than a late Friday night in June with said rookie getting criminally charged with severe charges for trying to carry firearms onto a airplane.
But that is where we find ourselves with Patriots cornerback Jack Jones.
In his first year, Jones went from 4th round pick to one of the most productive corners in football, finishing with the 10th lowest passer rating when targeted at just 63.1. Tonight, he finds himself a different sort of target entirely. Which is to say, the target of a federal prosecution:
Source - A New England Patriots cornerback, Jackie Jones was arrested Friday evening at Boston Logan International Airport after attempting to bring two firearms on the plane.
The firearms were found when Jones brought his carry-on luggage through an airport security checkpoint around 5:20 p.m., according to the TSA.
Massachusetts State Police troopers responded to the Terminal B checkpoint and arrested Jones.
25-year-old Jackie K. Jones of Arizona is facing several charges including possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and possession of a large-capacity feeding device, according to police.
Jones was booked at the State Police-Logan Airport Barracks and posted bail at $50,000.
He will be arraigned next week in East Boston District Court.
For their part, the team is doing the expected boilerplate press release, written in pure lawyerspeak, about how they're aware of the situationness and gathering informationish and won't be commenting furtherly, etc. Which is of course the only logical approach at this point.
But it's impossible to look at Jones recent past and not appreciate just how grievously they must be taking this. Jones, after all, was still on the board when they were selecting with the 121st pick for a reason. Several, as a matter of fact:
LA Times, June 2018 - Former USC cornerback Jack Jones talked to The Times on Tuesday night, keeping a positive outlook on his dismissal from the program on academic grounds and detailing his plan to get back to big-time college football. He said he felt it was all a part of “God’s plan.”
Two nights later, around 3:45 Friday morning, Jones was arrested in Santa Paula on suspicion of commercial burglary under $950 not during business hours and conspiracy to commit a crime — two felony charges. A press release from the Santa Paula Police Department alleged that Jones and two other young men broke into a Panda Express fast-food restaurant before being taken into custody. …
Jones, a five-star recruit who once predicted he would win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, has experienced a startling fall after a sophomore season in which he had four interceptions and appeared to be building momentum toward a NFL career.
In May, Jones was dismissed by USC. He told The Times that he was informed at the start of second semester that he had to improve his grades. USC sat him out of spring practice so he could focus on staying eligible, but he was unable to do so.
Friday, his situation became markedly worse. The police state that Jones and Curry were found inside the Panda Express; Marks was in a car and fled the scene, leading officers on a chase for a couple of blocks before curbing the vehicle and being apprehended.
Which carried over to his second school, Arizona State:
And continued well into his first NFL season:
… reportedly for being late, blowing off rehab sessions and shooting his mouth off to Bill Belichick. And now this.
To be fair, just because a guy has been in three programs by the age of 25 and been suspended by all of them doesn't mean he was in the wrong every, single time. And breaking into an Asian restaurant at all hours of the night doesn't necessarily mean that guy doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. And I'm sure there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons why someone would try to get on a commercial flight heavily strapped with lots and lots of illegal, unlicensed firearms and ammo.
So let's not jump to conclusions. While at the same time, let's also not assume Jack Jones is just a shithead who can't follow the basic rules of a functioning member of society. At this point, we don't know which it is. All we can do is make assumptions. And mine is he will never stop pulling stupid, reckless, unnecessary and downright dangerous stunts for no discernible reasons. And will most likely never play another down in the NFL. Only time will tell.
It's just a sin and a shame Jack Jones didn't follow the very sound advice offered to Ja Morant by … Jack Jones: