Football

Bengals take a chance on Pacman

Adam "Pacman" Jones agreed to a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, putting the troubled cornerback on a team with a history of giving players second chances.

Jones, who was released by the Cowboys after the 2008 season and didn't play last year, worked out for the Bengals twice this off-season, including Tuesday. He was selected by Tennessee in the first round of the 2005 draft, but has struggled to stay on the field because of his repeated arrests.

"There is going to be a two-year deal," Tom Hunter, Jones' agent, told The Associated Press on Thursday night. "It's going to be signed Friday or Monday. We don't have it in hand yet but we will."

A message was left Thursday seeking comment from the Bengals.

Jones, 26, was suspended for the entire 2007 season and for six games with the Cowboys in 2008 for violating the NFL's conduct policy.

Jones could have some trouble making the Bengals. Cincinnati has one of the best cornerback tandems in the league in Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall, who had six interceptions apiece last season. Morgan Trent, a sixth-round pick last year, had a solid rookie season, and the Bengals selected Brandon Ghee from Wake Forest in the third round last month, looking for depth at the position.

The defense finished fourth in the league in 2009, one of the main reasons Cincinnati won the AFC North with a 10-6 record.

Jones was expected to be a cornerstone of Tennessee's defense for years after he was drafted out of West Virginia. Instead, he was arrested six times and involved in 12 instances requiring police intervention. The Cowboys traded for him and he got into trouble again, drawing the six-game suspension for an alcohol-related scuffle with a team-provided bodyguard.

He appeared in nine games with Dallas, starting six, but failed to get an interception. He also returned punts and averaged only 4.5 yards, prompting the Cowboys to release him after the season.

Russell era over in Oakland

The Raiders released former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell on Thursday, ending a three-year tenure marked by his high salary and unproductive play.

Senior executive John Herrera told The Associated Press about the move and said that "we wish him well."

The decision came less than two weeks after Oakland acquired Jason Campbell from Washington to take over at quarterback and signifies that owner Al Davis finally lost patience with the immensely talented but unproductive player he drafted first overall in 2007 against the wishes of former coach Lane Kiffin.

Russell will now likely be considered one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, joining Ryan Leaf, Ki-Jana Carter, Akili Smith and others on that list. He will have been paid more than $39 million by the Raiders, while producing only seven wins as a starter.

The Raiders paid Russell more than $36 million through last season. They still owe him $3 million more but saved $6.45 million by not having him on the roster in 2010.

Vikings lose court case

A Minnesota judge chastised the NFL on Thursday and said the league broke state law even as he handed the league a significant victory in a closely watched lawsuit by two Vikings challenging their suspensions for taking a banned substance.

Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson said the NFL failed to notify the two players of their test results within three days, as required in Minnesota, and said an NFL official played "a game of 'gotcha'" with them. But he said that wasn't enough to block the NFL's plan to suspend the players for four games each.

The decision doesn't necessarily clear the way for the NFL to suspend Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for part of next season, however. The judge put off a decision on whether to extend an injunction blocking the suspensions pending an expected appeal by the players. A decision isn't expected for about two weeks.

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