Contrary to what you might have heard, the New England Patriots of the Bill Belichick Era have not had impossible standards when it comes to personal conduct. Sure, if you murder someone they'll immediately release you and give fans who made the mistake of buying your jersey a chance to swap it for a new, non-murderer's jersey, like some kind of a police-sponsored Gun Buy Back program. But there's been room here for different sorts of personalities over the years. Some more high-maintenance than others. And some guys with bad reputations were brought in and given a shot at redemption. Really the only rules have been that you show up on time, work hard, be professional, and help your team win.
Which was apparently too big an ask for second year cornerback Jack Jones:
Fortunately for the cause of international relations, Jackson flew home on AirKraft One before being told to pack his shit and go. The world is in enough turmoil without him pulling a move like he did at Logan a few months ago.
On a defense so strapped for cornerbacks that Myles Bryant was left out there to take 72% of the snaps, give up four receptions on four targets, including a crucial 32-yarder on 3rd & long, Jones only saw 10 total snaps. And gave up two receptions the two times HE was targeted, for 30 yards. And according to published reports, when he was pulled from the game he went off to the far end of the bench and sat by himself, talking to no one. This after he was sat out for a few series of the previous game against Washington, apparently for showing up late during the week.
Which brings us back to the whole requirement that you be on time, work hard, and be a good teammate. And to speculate whether there was ever a rule Jack Jones has come across in his life that he didn't violate. Here's a brief, but by no means complete, recap of his brief - though still way too long - career in New England:
The end of the 2022 season:
And here's a bit of Jones' college background, for context:
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 Belichick. Here's what I added after his arraignment when his lawyer complained about the way her client was being talked about on social media:
Finally, since his lawyer is bringing up his football career, let me remind her that Jones fell to the Patriots at No. 121 in last year's draft not because he lacks talent, but because he got bounced out of USC, was convicted of breaking into a Panda Palace in the middle of the night, then ended up at Arizona State, where he got suspended. Then didn't make it to the end of his rookie season in New England before getting suspended yet again, reportedly for showing up late, not completing his rehab assignments, and giving grief to the man who drafted him, most successful coach in the history of the league. So while I might agree that no one should be using words like "thug" or "wanna be gang member," I stand by the term I used when all this went down Friday. Jack Jones needs to stop being a shithead. (Allegedly.)
Now that Jones has blown his approximately 67th second chance, I think we can drop the "Allegedly." Once you've been told by your third straight football program to hit the fucking bricks because they're better off without your admittedly excellent football skills, there's nothing alleged about it. Your shitheadedness is confirmed.
The next time an NFL player is sent packing by his third team for disciplinary reasons, I'm calling it The Jack Jones Slam Triple Crown. And now I'm looking forward to somebody else stupid and reckless enough to give him yet another chance. And when he gets released from there, we'll have our first ever Jack Jones Slam. I give it about a month.
PS. If the goal at this point is to tank, losing the most physically talented cover corner on the active roster is a big step in the right direction.