That is exactly though what Jones was when the league holds its rookie symposium June 24-30 outside of Cleveland.
"I'm at a point in my life where I'm not doing the same things that I used to," Jones said. "Now that I'm grown u, you are accountable for certain things. Everything you do reflects on you and the consequences are yours."
Jones, who is in his third year with the Bengals, has volunteered the last two years to speak, but last year's symposium was cancelled due to the lockout (the NFLPA ended up holding its own version).
Jones' speech might take on greater importance considering the June 15 ruling by a Clark County, Nev., jury which ruled he must pay $11.65 million in compensatory damages for his role in a February 2007 shooting at a Las Vegas strip club shooting. The ruling though will be appealed.
It was that shooting which led to Goodell suspending Jones for the 2007 season and being traded from the Titans to the Cowboys in 2008, where he had a subpar season. After not having a team in 2009, Jones signed a two-year contract with the Bengals in 2010 and re-signed for this upcoming season.
In assessing his early years, Jones was blunt: "I was pathetic. I had no respect for the money that I got. I had respect for football but not the business part. I still thought I was in college and didn't realize the scrutiny that comes with the NFL."
Jones message will have two points -- keep a small inner circle and treat the game as a business.
"I want to tell them what I went through and hopefully not make the same mistakes that I made. Please don't do what I did," Jones said. "Keep a group of people with you. There are a lot of guys that come from the same background that I do who run into a whole bunch of money. They don't respect the money. If they don't, they will be in the same situation I was."
For the first time this year, the symposium was split into two parts instead of all the rookies being here at once. The NFC rookies went first followed by the AFC.
Jones will earn $950,000 this season ($700,000 base plus a $250,000 signing bonus), but his spot on the roster is not set in stone. The Bengals added Terence Newman and Jason Allen in free agency and drafted Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round.
In his two years with the Bengals, Jones has played in only 16 of the 33 games, including the playoffs. There was a neck injury which caused him to miss 15 games and hamstring and groin issues which put him out for two games last season. Down the stretch last season Jones struggled and he had his worst game in the playoff loss to Houston as he was beat for one touchdown and did not do well in stopping the run.
While Jones said during OTAs and minicamp he is in the best shape of his career, he did miss time due to a hamstring injury. His only way to secure a spot on the roster might be as a punt or kick returner since both of those spots are open.
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