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Matt Jones
No. 18     Cincinnati Bengals
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: April 22, 1983 (1983-04-22) (age 26)
Place of birth: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
College: Arkansas
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21
Debuted in 2005 for the Jacksonville Jaguars
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Second-team All-SEC (2003)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2008
Receptions     166
Receiving yards     2,153
Receiving touchdowns     15
Stats at NFL.com

Matthew Jones (born April 22, 1983) is an American football wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Arkansas.

Contents

Early years

Jones was born to Steve and Paula Jones on April 22, 1983 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was born at St. Bernard Hospital in Jonesboro, Arkansas. His family soon moved to Van Buren, Arkansas where Matt was raised. He attended Van Buren Schools until his senior year. In high school, Jones was a quarterback at Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as well as a sprinter on the school track team. He was also a member of the drama club at NHS and was an active participant in the "Keep Northside Red" campaign, which is an annual blood drive held on the Northside High School campus. Jones was a finalist for the KNWA's "Athlete of the Year" award but did not win. Jones was awarded with the "Hooten's Arkansas Football" Ft. Smith Northside Outstanding Student award as a senior at FSNHS. This award is for the most honorable student both on and off the playing field at FS Northside.

In college, Jones was a star athlete for the University of Arkansas, where he played quarterback and was also a member of the basketball team. He is currently second in the SEC in career rushing yards for a quarterback to Tim Tebow. He was starting QB for the Razorbacks in the two longest NCAA college football games ever played, each going into 7 overtimes.

Professional career

Pre-draft

At the NFL Combine, Jones, measured in at 6' 6" tall, weighed 237 pounds and recorded scores during the tests that showed speed and explosive ability that had not been seen before in a player of his size. These scores earned him the nickname "The Freak" from the coaches and athletes in attendance. These scores included being timed between 4.37 and 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a 39.5" vertical jump, and a 10' 10" broad jump.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jones, a college quarterback, was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a wide receiver in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. This was a move that surprised some draft experts who thought it was a risky selection as Jones had not been a full time wide receiver at any prior point in his career.

As a rookie, Jones finished 2005 with 36 receptions for 432 yards and five touchdowns. He then finished 2006, with 41 receptions for 643 yards and four touchdowns. In 2007, he saw his production drop. At the beginning of the season, he pledged to not shave his beard until he scored a touchdown. His streak of end zone shutouts ended Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He finished the 2007 regular season with 24 receptions for 317 yards and was tied for 2nd on the team with four touchdown catches. In 2008 he had 65 catches for 761 yards in 12 games. On March 16, 2009 Jones was released from the Jacksonville Jaguars following two substance abuse-related arrests.[1]

Cincinnati Bengals

Jones worked out with several teams during the 2009 season, but none resulted in contracts. After spending the 2009 NFL season out of football, Jones received contract offers from the Bengals and the Tennessee Titans, but on February 12, 2010, Jones decided to sign a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[2]

Arrests

On July 10, 2008 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Jones was arrested at gunpoint and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance.[3]

Jones and one other former Arkansas football player, Jared Hicks, along with another person, Benjamin Cook, were inside a vehicle that was searched by police. The police found a plastic bag filled with six grams of a white substance that tested positive as cocaine and a jar with possible marijuana residue. Officers questioned Jones and he acknowledged the white powder was, in fact, cocaine, the report said.

Jones' dad, Steve Jones, refuted the allegations that his son was involved in any wrongdoing, releasing a statement which was posted on the web site of a Fayetteville television station, KNWA-TV: "We want to make it clear that Matt was not in possession of any drugs, but that there were drugs in the vehicle and were located in the closest proximity to Matt."

On October 8, 2008, an agreement was reached between Jones and the Washington County Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutor John Threet agreed to send the case to drug court on October 13, 2008. Prosecutors said the felony charge would be dismissed if Jones completes the drug program. A hearing in drug court, rather than in the regular criminal system, allows Jones to keep any conviction off his record.

The NFL suspended Jones for three weeks for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He was in the lineup for Week 8, pending an appeal.[4] On December 9, 2008, the NFL upheld Jones' three-game suspension which caused him to miss the rest of the season.[5]

On March 9, 2009 in Washington County, Jones was arrested again after failing a drug test which showed that he had alcohol in his system. This violated the condition of his probation[6]. He was held in jail after he asked to be imprisoned rather than sent to a six-week residential treatment program that would have interfered with the beginning of training camp. He was released on March 14, 2009 after his latest arrest, but will be back in court on April 13.[7]

Notes

External links








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