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For Bengals' Adam Jones, uncertainty still looms on eve of free agency

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Adam Jones: I feel I can play this game for 4 or 5 more years at the top level (2:10)

Adam Jones discusses how he thinks about his past in order not to make mistakes and talks about his upcoming free agency and where he would like to end up. (2:10)

CINCINNATI -- Adam Jones sounded like a man who has moved on, ready for his next challenge.

The free agent sounded that way Tuesday morning when he spoke on various television shows shot from ESPN's Bristol, Connecticut, headquarters, and also later in the day when he was reached for a phone interview. He regularly used the past tense when discussing the Cincinnati Bengals, and even described them using the pronoun "they" instead of "we," "us" or "our," words the team-first cornerback made regular parts of his vernacular the past six seasons in Cincinnati.

Based off tone alone, Jones sounded like a man convinced he was going to be signing elsewhere (Dallas, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore or Minnesota, perhaps?) when free agency begins at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

But will he?

During his early-afternoon phone interview, Jones underscored the uncertainty looming above his head, and the heads of the Bengals' 12 other soon-to-be unrestricted free agents.

"I love everything about the city of Cincinnati. I want to be there," Jones said. "But first and foremost, I've got to take care of my family. We'll see how it goes.

"I truly feel I've done more than enough."

Jones believes he's exceeded the expectations the Bengals had when they signed him in 2010. He thinks the career high he tied in tackles in 2014 (he was one shy of that mark in 2015) and the nine interceptions he's had the past three seasons are signs he's more valuable than a 32-year-old corner should be. The fact his body is relatively fresh after missing two seasons with suspensions and injuries isn't lost on him, either.

"I just want to be treated fair," Jones said on SportsCenter Tuesday morning. "I'm not trying to break the bank, but I truly feel I can play this game another four or five years."

Jones isn't shy about wanting to play for a winner. While he believes the Bengals' future is still bright, he's also aware of the change free agency and coaching moves has brought to Cincinnati this offseason.

"The Bengals have a good chance of being good," Jones said on First Take. "They have a lot of key players they need to sign in free agency. It don't look like it's going too good now, but we'll see."

So far, Cincinnati has re-signed backups Brandon Tate and T.J. Johnson to minimum deals.

Jones has been waiting for his own renewed deal for quite some time. When he began negotiating with the Bengals last summer, he was told the younger players needed deals done first. Within weeks, A.J. Green agreed to a four-year extension that made him one of the league's highest-paid receivers. Veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth also signed a one-year extension worth up to $9 million.

"I have different feelings and mixed emotions about certain things with the way they're doing things," Jones said on First Take.

Jones had a role in the Bengals' collapse at the end of their wild-card round playoff loss to Pittsburgh in January. He was flagged 15 yards for striking an official while attempting to go after Steelers assistant Joey Porter on a bizarre play in the game's final seconds. That penalty, along with one earlier on the play from Vontaze Burfict, put the Steelers in range for a game-winning chip-shot field goal. Jones doesn't think that play impacted the Bengals' interest in a deal with him.

"Cincinnati has really helped me grow as a person, as a man," Jones said. "The team and the fans have been really good to me. ... It's not a bad thing that I could say about anyone over there."