Published January 18, 2012
| Associated Press
Jones entered the plea in Hamilton County Municipal Court just as his non-jury trial was scheduled to begin. A second misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest was dismissed in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Judge Brad Greenberg ordered Jones to serve a year of probation, complete 50 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine plus court costs. Jones could have received a maximum jail sentence of 30 days.
Jones, 28, was accused in court documents of being disorderly, shouting profanities and trying to pull away as officers arrested him at a downtown bar in July.
At the time, Jones was on probation in Las Vegas in connection with a 2007 no contest plea to a strip club melee that left three people wounded. He was ordered in November to perform an additional 75 hours of community service for violating that probation with the Cincinnati arrest.
Jones apologized in court to police for his conduct and said he realized that he "could have handled it a whole lot better." The judge told Jones that he did not know how "someone with your ability risks your career with this type of behavior."
Assistant City Solicitor Karla Burtch said Jones repeatedly approached officers "aggressively."
Jones said he was just trying to protect his fiancee.
"This is unprofessional behavior," Greenberg said. He told Jones that if he wanted to be regarded as a professional, "you need to act like one at all times."
Neither Jones nor his attorney would comment after court.
Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Jones "handled this issue in a responsible manner, and we support both the legal system and his efforts to put this behind him."
The NFL did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Jones will be a free agent after completing his second season with Cincinnati, which gave him a chance to continue his career.
Tennessee made Jones the sixth overall pick in 2005. He started 28 games in his first two seasons with the Titans, but repeated arrests scuttled his career. He missed the entire 2007 season with the first of two suspensions from the league.
The Titans traded Jones to Dallas before the 2008 draft. An alcohol-related altercation with a bodyguard that the Cowboys provided cost him another six-game suspension.
He was out of the NFL for a year before the Bengals gave him the two-year deal in 2010 and a final chance to show he can stay out of trouble and hold a job in the NFL. He excelled as Cincinnati's No. 3 cornerback before a neck injury ended his 2010 season after only five games. Jones had surgery for a herniated disc in his neck.
He had another procedure on the neck last summer and opened the season on an injury list, forcing him to miss the first six games. He pulled a hamstring in his first game back, forcing him to sit out two more.
Jones played the rest of the way and started eight games at cornerback in place of the injured Leon Hall. He didn't have an interception. Jones had two punt returns for 67 yards.
His arrest over the summer made him one of eight NFL players subject to discipline for incidents that occurred during the lockout. Bengals running back Cedric Benson also had an offseason arrest in Texas and got a one-game suspension during the season.
The league will review Jones' case and could impose another suspension should he sign with a team.