" Jones learns lesson, worth risk for NFL teams." Thus reads the headline of Wally Hall's sports column today about former Razorback All-American Matt Jones who recently got a pink slip from the Jacksonville Jaguars after flunking a test for alcohol required as part of his probation for pleading guilty to possession of cocaine a year or so ago. This got him a week wearing orange and eating bologna sandwiches. It also got him waived by the Jags who clearly saw a last straw concerning the underachieving Jones.
After spending a considerable amount of time in today's column establishing that he really never interviewed Jones while he was a Razorback, Wally states " In my humble opinion Jones has learned his lesson."
Wait. There's more.
Wally also says that " [Jones] has stared his demons in the eye sic and told them to get behind him" and that " Matt Jones is clean and sober now."
Says who? As usual, Wally doesn't quote anybody or reveals that he has talked to folks that actually know about the situation off-the-record. For all we know, and for all Wally knows, Matt Jones is smoking a doobie and drinking whiskey even as I type this. For Jones' sake I hope he isn't because if he produces another dirty test, he gets to go away for even longer at a drug rehab facility. He will not like it there and not just because he won't be able to do drugs while a guest.
I do agree with Wally that some other team will pick him up off of waivers. As long as Jerry Jones and Al Davis are around, he stands a chance to land somewhere where they don't much care about character.
But cocaine really scares NFL types. And if he ever tests positive for that again, he can kiss his career goodbye. They will put up with a head case if he produces on the field. They will not if he doesn't. And even though he put up decent numbers last year, his production with the Jaguars clearly didn't merit giving a head case like Matt Jones another chance in their opinion.
Momentarily clean and sober or not. We don't really know. And neither does Wally.