Levi Jones faces uncertain future

March, 19, 2009
3/19/09
3:31
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones wanted out of Cincinnati before the start of last season.

One year later, he may get his wish.

 
  Frank Victores/US PRESSWIRE
  Injuries have hurt Levi Jones' production the past few seasons.

Jones, 29, faces an uncertain future with the Cincinnati Bengals for the first time in his career. A rash of injuries has caught up to Jones and hurt his production the past couple of seasons. It has reached the stage that the Bengals are reportedly shopping him.

Jones and friend Willie Anderson, when healthy, once were one of the league's best tackle tandems. Anderson was released last season and Jones could soon follow his former teammate.

Jones' trade value is not very high. Surprisingly, offensive tackles haven't been sought this offseason as experienced players such as Orlando Pace, Kevin Shaffer and Marvel Smith are still available late in free agency. Teams interested in tackles would likely prefer signing one of these options rather than giving up a draft pick for Jones.

This week, I checked in with Scouts Inc. to get their take.

"Levi Jones is hard to predict right now because he's been injury prone, but he's not that old," said Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson. "So what they know and I don't is: Do the doctors think he can hold up? Is he somebody who is on his way out? If they can't trust him, then the Bengals almost have to get the tackle [in the draft] and there will be one there, whether it's Eugene Monroe or Andre Smith. Whoever they choose, that would certainly make some sense."

Cincinnati holds the No. 6 overall pick next month. If the Bengals take an offensive tackle, it could mark the end of Jones' tenure in Cincinnati.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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