Even with his charges dropped, Jack Jones isn’t out of the woods yet
Jack Jones may have avoided the most serious punishments associated with his recent gun possession charges, but the New England Patriots cornerback could still be in trouble.
Specifically, he could still be hit with a suspension via the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the league hadn’t given the Patriots any indication that discipline was coming for Jones, as of Tuesday evening. But the policy itself could still be used to suspend Jones, even though he avoided conviction for his recent legal trouble.
As reported first by Chris Mason of MassLive, the Suffolk County District Attorney agreed to drop eight of the nine charges in exchange for Jones to serve one year of probation and 48 hours of community service. Jones had previously faced a number of charges stemming from an arrest at Logan Airport, where security caught him with two firearms in his luggage. The lone remaining charge was a security violation, while all gun-related charges were dropped.
But while Jones will avoid jail time for this offense, that doesn’t mean the NFL will let him totally off the hook.
The 2022 version of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy reads, in part: “It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime in a court of law. We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful.” It then lists the forms of conduct that could subject players to discipline from the league. These are the offenses that theoretically would apply to Jones:
— Illegal possession of a gun or other weapon (such as explosives, toxic substances, and the like), or possession of a gun or other weapon in any workplace setting
— Conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person
— Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel
Under the “Discipline” section, the policy states: “In cases in which a player is not charged with a crime, or is charged but not convicted, he may still be found to have violated the Policy if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in prohibited conduct.” So, the league could feasibly still hold Jones himself responsible for the guns found in his luggage.
The big one seems to be “Conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person.” It would frankly be a little surprising if the NFL didn’t think Jones posed a danger to the safety of the people around him in the airport at the time of the incident.
For now, Jones is healthy and available for the Patriots secondary. He was present at Tuesday’s practice in Foxboro, in which every player was accounted for. He’s on track to play Week 1 against the Eagles, barring a quick hammer from Roger Goodell and the league.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.
Correction: This article previously stated that all nine charges against Jack Jones were dropped. In fact, eight of the nine charges were dropped. We apologize for the error.