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Charges dropped after judge says Jones has been punished enough

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Adam "Pacman" Jones is busy clearing away the legal problems that led to his suspension from the NFL.

His biggest challenge, however, may be proving he can control himself.

Suspended for the 2007 season, the NFL will review Jones' status after the Pro Bowl. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said actions, not words, speak loudest.

A Tennessee judge dismissed two misdemeanor charges Thursday from an incident Aug. 25, 2006, leaving only one criminal charge still pending against Jones in Georgia. But he didn't help himself by being in an Atlanta strip club Jan. 3 while the Titans were prepping for a playoff game.

An attorney who asked that Jones be arrested for allegedly punching her withdrew her request Jan. 16. Atlanta police said Thursday they will not investigate Jones without the victim's help.

Worrick Robinson, one of Jones' attorneys, said the issue of the cornerback being in a club remained and that there's no excuse for that.

"He's a grown man. ... But he's got to take responsibility for his actions. When he's asked, he's going to have to step up and say he was there, that there is no excuse," Robinson said.

Goodell's strict standards are well documented.

Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman is hoping for full reinstatement by April after sitting out the last two seasons.

Originally suspended the first four games of the 2006 season for skipping a drug test, the punishment was extended to a full season after a drunk driving arrest. Two Georgia men accused Thurman of kicking and hitting them at a party last June. No charges were filed, but Goodell turned down Thurman's request to reinstate him for last season.

Given all the problems, there is the possibility the Titans might not want Jones back.

They went from giving up the most yards defensively in the NFL with Jones in 2006 to fifth best and a 10-6 record with a playoff berth without him. A video popped up recently on the Internet showing Jones saying he saw himself in Dallas with a couple Pro Bowls in two or three years.

Jones did not comment Thursday when asked if he had done enough to be reinstated. Robinson said the video was shot last summer when Jones was upset at not being allowed to take part in training camp.

"He still considers himself to be a member of the Titans' team until he's told otherwise. We don't have any reason to think otherwise," Robinson said. "But again, he's got to be reinstated before that hurdle can be crossed."

One step in that direction came with the dismissal of misdemeanor public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges stemming from an incident Aug. 25, 2006, outside a club in this Nashville suburb.

Jones had been upset over his missing wallet and was arrested after cursing at officers before leaving.

With Jones' no contest plea in Las Vegas on Dec. 6, he now has only one pending charge of felony obstruction left in Georgia from a February 2006 encounter with a police officer. A hearing in that case has been postponed until March.

The most authorities here could have punished Jones was a $50 fine for each charge, and district attorney William Whitesell said the Titans cornerback had been punished much more for his behavior through the league's suspension.

He missed out on $1.29 million in base salary.

This case had been settled a year ago. Jones had to pay court costs and go through anger management with the judge telling him to stay out of trouble for six months.

But Las Vegas police named Jones as the person who incited a fight inside a strip club on Feb. 19, 2007, that led to a triple shooting that left one man paralyzed. Whitesell argued last July that Jones being charged in Nevada was enough to show the cornerback did not follow the agreement.

Jones pleaded no contest Dec. 6 in Las Vegas to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in a plea deal reducing two felony charges.

Before the misdemeanor charges were dismissed on Thursday, the prosecutor asked Jones to apologize to the officer in writing, which he did.

"Mr. Jones hopefully has learned something and been punished enough," Whitesell said.

The judge asked Jones to speak to the court, and the cornerback said he has learned a lot about dealing with others and how to conduct himself.

"It won't happen again," he said.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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