Mike Brown: Adam Jones 'made a fool of himself,' but owner pledges support

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown is fully in Adam Jones' corner.

"He knows full well what he has done to himself," Brown told Bengals.com and the Cincinnati Enquirer at the NFL owners meetings Wednesday. "He regrets it. But it's been made into a public issue, and maybe I am overly tolerant. If so, so be it."

Jones tweeted his appreciation to Brown and the Bengals for their stance, writing that he won't "take it for granted."

Jones was arrested Jan. 3 on a felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance and misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business. The Cincinnati prosecutor dropped the felony charge last week, and Jones' lawyer said he will plead not guilty to the remaining charges.

Brown launched into an impassioned speech in defense of the cornerback, who has been with the Bengals since 2010. He said he doesn't condone Jones' actions, but he won't condemn him, either.

"You are dealing with people's lives here," Brown said. "It's easy to sit on high and say, 'Oh, terrible, terrible. Let's bring down the sword.' I think that's an overreaction. I'm not condoning his actions. They were, in all honesty, embarrassing. He was out of control. He misbehaved. He made a fool of himself. No one knows that more than he does. I don't know that I have been perfect in my lifetime, either. I probably did some things I wish I hadn't."

The Bengals were one of the few teams to give Jones another chance after off-the-field issues early in his career almost got him permanently banned from the NFL.

Brown said he has seen Jones grow a lot in those years, particularly after the birth of Jones' daughter, who was born more than two months premature but has grown into a healthy child. Brown said that story stuck with him, and Jones' family factored into his decision to keep him.

"I hope it comes out right for him, for his family and for us," Brown said. "I know there are critics. I understand. But that is a full answer. And that's what I have to say about it."