The Bengals are banking on the personal pride of yet another talented, troubled player after agreeing on Friday to a one-year deal with wide receiver Matt Jones
Acquiring Jones is a low-risk/high-reward move that could pay dividends if it works out and won't cost the Bengals much if it doesn't. Jones is due to sign a contract for a reported $700,000 today.
How long he lasts in Cincinnati remains to be seen. Jones has had a history of questionable decision-making off the field and he's been arrested twice.
The Bengals also have their eyes on troubled defensive back Pacman Jones, who was in Cincinnati on Thursday. It's part of the team's ongoing effort to sign low-priced veteran players who can agree to deals before the free-agent session begins March 5 because those players did not play during the 2009 season.
Pacman Jones, an often-suspended cornerback when he was in the league, sat out 2009 after being released by the Cowboys. He did not land a job in the CFL after a few workouts.
It remains to be seen how sharp Pacman Jones' cover-skills are after being out of football for a year, but the Bengals are looking for depth behind standout corners Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph.
More immediate has been a desire to improve the team's 26th-ranked passing game. Matt Jones is likely one step among a few the Bengals will take to upgrade at wide receiver.
Chad Ochocinco is the only Bengals receiver guaranteed to return for 2010 who would also be expected to make a big impact. Current No. 2 Laveranues Coles's contract could be too big in an uncapped year and he did not make large contributions until late in the season.
It's conceivable the Bengals could keep Coles and Jones, but if Jones stays with the team beyond training camp, that would tempt the Bengals to release Coles and use the savings elsewhere.
With Matt Jones, there's always the danger that decisions will be made then Jones will make a bad decison of his own, scuttling the best of laid plans.
Once again, the Bengals find themselves playing with fire, and some might view Matt Jones a mere campfire compared to Pacman Jones ability to ignite outright conflagrations.