Whether or not Dhani Jones returns to the Bengals remains a matter of conjecture, and will continue to be so until a new collective bargaining agreement is struck and we have the treat of an expedited free agency feeding frenzy.
If I was a betting man, I’d say there’s a good chance he stays. He’s a leader in the locker room, a reliable field general on defense, and a stable, if unspectacular, linebacker.
Whether he starts remains another matter. If I was a betting man, I’d say the new Mike Backer will be Rey Maualuga. But that’s a topic for another day.
Today we’re talking about Dhani: the bowtie aficionado, world traveler, and new author who also plays football.
On Rich Eisen’s podcast, Jones had some quite unfiltered comments about Jordan Palmer, who is organizing offensive workouts in an effort to replace his older brother as the starting signal-caller in the Queen City.
“Jordan Palmer’s not the answer. Absolutely not,” Jones told Eisen. When pressed on how he’d respond if the coaches went with number five, Dhani said, “I would question the decision, absolutely.”
It’s the second time Jones has dissed Jordan, and completes the Palmer family sweep, as he’s also already on record as saying that Carson should not come back.
“I think he’s had enough, I think he’s ready to move on to a different situation, and it’s time for him to go,” Dhani said of number nine.
It’s a refreshing shred of honesty and seems to confirm the general opinion of the fan base, though it’s sure to cause some uncomfortable silences in the locker room.
Perhaps Jones is just trying to hype his new book, or get some buzz going for his overly-opinionated analysis—after all, his playing career is almost over and it seems NFL Network is always looking for new players for the studio.
Either way, he seems destined to be another a long line of articulate Bengals in the media (Boomer Esiason, Solomon Wilcots, Don Trumpy, Cris Collinsworth, etc.) and has clearly joined the chorus of players that are ready to move on from the Palmers.