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Despite Charges Being Dropped, Let’s Hope Patriots’ Jack Jones Learned His Lesson

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
3 weeks ago at 12:18 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Despite Charges Being Dropped, Let’s Hope Patriots’ Jack Jones Learned His LessonMARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

When it comes to New England Patriots defensive back Jack Jones, he needs to learn that what happened on Tuesday should be his final wake-up call given what’s been a tumultuous past during his very brief NFL career.

The second-year defensive back caught a massive break on Tuesday, with news coming out that the legal situation looming over him had apparently come to a close.

Late Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors in Massachusetts reportedly agreed to drop the charges against Jones in exchange for Jones agreeing to one year of pre-trial probation and 48 hours of community service.

The fact things came to that is nothing short of miraculous.  You can argue the politics when it comes to the gun laws, but when the news first came out and Jones was arrested back in June, he had been facing a potential mandatory sentence after bringing two loaded guns into Logan Airport, which were in his bag as he passed through TSA.

Among the charges he was hit with at the time, which included possession of a large-capacity feeding device, carried a mandatory sentence under Massachusetts Law.  While many believed he would somehow get out of this, knowledge of that charge appeared to be the one sticking point that left everyone wondering how in the world he might avoid any jail time.

His initial status in preseason also left questions.  Jones spent a lot of time playing late into New England’s preseason games, which was a sign that the team was potentially uncertain about his long-term future.

Given how he played, it was obvious that it was a distraction, and it’s something Jones even acknowledged was in the back of his mind.

However, one positive came after Jones’ initial court date of August 18th was pushed back to September.  At the time, legal analyst Michael McCann viewed that development as a possibility there may have potentially been a plea deal in place, allowing Jones to miraculously avoid jail time.

“Could be a sign a plea deal is in the works for Jack Jones (a plea deal is the most likely outcome in how his case ends, with his main goals being to avoid jail time and to give the Patriots reason to not cut him),” McCann Tweeted.

Fortunately, Tuesday’s outcome showed that McCann read the situation perfectly, with Jones now being allowed to continue his NFL career here in New England.

The key part of this appears to be the fact there was some doubt among prosecutors about whether or not they could prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Jones knew the guns were in his carry-on bags as he went through security.

“The Commonwealth states that consistent with its standard of review in all cases, it has thoroughly reviewed all the evidence in this case and determined that it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Jones had knowledge that he possessed the firearms in his bag at the time of the incident,” the DA said in a court filing via Chris Mason of “In addition, pursuant to M.G.L. Section 140 Chapter 129C(j), Those exempt from having a firearm identification card include ‘any resident of the commonwealth returning after having been absent from the commonwealth for not less than 180 consecutive days or any new resident moving into the commonwealth, with respect to any firearm, rifle, or shotgun and any ammunition there then in his possession, for 60 days after such return or entry into the commonwealth.’

“The Commonwealth has been provided documentation and verified that Mr. Jones purchased both firearms lawfully in the state of Arizona and has taken steps to become a lawful gun owner in the state of Massachusetts within this 60-day period.”

Can Jones Stay Out of Trouble?

Jones doesn’t have the cleanest record, both prior to arriving to New England or even before June’s arrest.

The former Arizona State standout already had issues internally with the club that led to a suspension by the team last season, with conflicting reports of what went down.  But regardless of those details, the net result showed that he irked the staff enough to inflict a punishment.

Given what just transpired, along with the fact they’ve stuck by him throughout this process, hopefully, he’s gained some perspective.

If not, it’s probably safe to say he’s more or less spent whatever currency he had leading up to this.

After all, the fact he’s even here was a surprise given his issues coming out of college.  Prior to even being drafted, Jones was arrested in 2018 for breaking into a Panda Express after hours, which saw him charged with commercial burglary and felony conspiracy to commit a crime.

Fortunately, his agent, James Tooson, helped get him back on the right track after working to get his charges reduced to a misdemeanor, which saw Jones get placed on probation.

From there, Jones buckled down and started focusing on getting himself back on track, spending a year at Moorpark College, which landed him an opportunity to play football again at ASU.  Former Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards also vouched for him, telling Mike Reiss after Jones was drafted that New England was “a good spot for him.”

“It’s a good spot for him [New England], as there will be people there to keep the thumb on him,” Edwards said at the time. “I told him, ‘You’re at a place now where you have to check all the boxes.’ He’s been a handful, but he’s a good kid. Loves football. Loves competing. Once he’s in the building, on the field, he’s all about football now.”

However, considering what happened behind closed doors last season, followed by this summer, it’s safe to say it’s been a rocky start.

Past History Doesn’t Work in Jones’ Favor

So far, Jones has had a history already of repeating past mistakes, whether it’s been his legal issues or getting reprimanded by the team internally.  Knowing the Patriots’ past when it comes to trying to get troubled players back on track, Jones needs to try and not become just another cautionary tale.

Obviously, everyone knows the story with Aaron Hernandez, which involved several incidents behind the scenes that the club apparently did its best to help him navigate through before he went over the edge and ended up being charged with the murder of Oden Lloyd, which ultimately ended his tenure here.

His story is certainly one of the extreme cases, but it doesn’t change the fact there were some additional incidents that he was involved in prior to that which came to light following his arrest where the club seemingly exhausted its efforts to help him avoid the rabbit hole he eventually went down.

However, one other one involves former Patriots defensive back Alfonzo Dennard, who was troubled coming out of college, but the Patriots did their best to help him as well.

Dennard was arrested for assaulting an officer ahead of the Patriots selecting him in the seventh round in 2012, with the former defensive back both practicing and playing as his legal process played out behind the scenes.

But, like Jones, Dennard’s run-ins with the law didn’t end there.  He ended up with more legal trouble despite the fact he had already had a fairly serious charge pending.  He ended up being arrested the following July in 2013 for drunk driving in Nebraska while he was on probation for his other charge, which only further hampered his situation.

He was eventually sentenced to jail time, which he finally served during the 2014 offseason after the process played out.  Dennard even later rejoined the club and played up until a shoulder injury ultimately sidelined him and subsequently ended his tenure with the team.

He’s gone on to have additional legal issues, with Dennard reportedly spending five days in Lancaster County jail in 2015 after violating terms of a probation agreement, failing multiple alcohol tests while failing to appear for another drug test.  He was also arrested just last year in 2022 for an alleged third-degree assault and domestic violence.

Needless to say, Jones needs to break a streak where players the Patriots have taken chances on have broken their trust.

Hopefully, Jones will turn into the talented player many believe he can be.  Because as talented as he is, there have been some precedents set in recent years that leave some reasons to worry about whether or not this latest incident will be his last, including what’s already transpired over this last year.

Second chances don’t come along too often, let alone multiple ones.  Let’s just hope he’ll avoid any future issues and make the most of his football talents here in New England.

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Aaron Hernandez Alfonzo Dennard Jack Jones

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