This looks like a road we've been down before. There are a lot of similarities.
Pacman Jones will not be invited to participate in the offseason conditioning program, says Coach Jeff Fisher. As a matter of fact, Fisher said he doesn't know when Pacman will be allowed to return.
Does this seem to anyone else like the Steve McNair situation last summer?
McNair was not allowed to workout in the Titans' training facilities for fear he could be injured, in which case the team would have to bite the bullet on his $9 million salary. The team called it a risk management issue, which it was, but the fact is they wanted to negotiate a restructuring of McNair's contract. The two sides were unable to agree on that and McNair was subsequently traded to the Ravens.
So I wonder if the Titans are preparing to cut ties to Pacman. It wouldn't be because of a burdensome salary cap number, which McNair had, but because of Pacman's uncertain legal status and off-the-field incidents which are giving the organization a black eye.
If Pacman were to be injured while working out, and miss the season because of it, it would only cost the Titans his $1.3M base salary. There are three years remaining on the proration of Pac's signing bonus, at $1.8M per year and $5.4M total, which the Titans are already on the hook for, salary cap wise.
The Titans begin their offseason conditioning program March 19, the same day Pacman is scheduled to appear in court for a 2006 arrest in Georgia on charges of obstructing a policeman.
Fisher says that Pacman didn't inform the Titans of that arrest or for another 2006 arrest for marijuana possession, a charge that has since been dismissed. Failure to report an arrest is a violation of the league's personal conduct policy and could result in a league-imposed suspension.
Pacman's Atlanta lawyer, the same one who represented Ray Lewis on murder charges and Jamal Lewis on drug trafficking charges, was in town Thursday and Friday. He joined one of Pacman's Nashville lawyers in a meeting with Fisher and Titans COO Steve Underwood. The lawyers also appeared on two radio talk shows, trying to put a positive spin on Pacman's legal and PR problems.
While it looks like the Titans could be laying the groundwork for the release or trade of Pacman, I can't be sure of that yet. There haven't been any reports that the Titans are shopping him.
One thing we can be sure of, though - Pacman won't mind in the least being barred from team workouts. He was a no-show for them last year.