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Friday, May 7, 2010
Is 'Pacman' insurance for CB Joseph?

By James Walker

Besides the obvious headlines Thursday that came with the Cincinnati Bengals adding controversial cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, it also should be noted that the team agreed with Jones to a two-year deal.

Johnathan Joseph
Standout cornerback Johnathan Joseph (left) is in the final year of his rookie contract.
Why would Cincinnati want to sign Jones, a player who was out of football last season, to a multiyear deal?

Reading between the lines, the answer could have something to do with starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph.

With the Bengals it is always wise to follow the money trail, and Joseph is a very good cornerback entering the final year of his rookie contract. If he has another great season, Joseph will be one of the most sought after free agents in 2011 at one of the league's glamour positions. That combination usually equals a very large contract -- one the Bengals may be unwilling to pay.

Cincinnati is no stranger to letting good players go to free agency. Recent examples include Eric Steinbach, Justin Smith and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who all signed big-money deals with other teams.

Joseph could be the next high-profile name added to that list if Jones, who makes the league minimum, flashes enough potential and stays out of trouble this season.

Keep an eye on this potential development in Cincinnati.