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Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones claims to be a “first or second ballot” Hall of Famer

Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones claims to be a “first or second ballot” Hall of Famer

Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones was among one of the most notorious players in his time in the NFL. A 12-year veteran, Jones was the number six overall draft choice in 2005 by the Tennessee Titans. In a career as a formidable defensive back, he besmirched his reputation with several off-the-field issues.

Nevertheless, Jones did manage a single Pro-Bowl selection in 2015 and proved to be a solid return man. The latter skill leads Jones to believe he should be a first or second ballot Hall of Fame choice in the NFL.

“I think I should be at least first or second ballot, especially on special teams. There’s not too many people that’s done what I’ve done. Who would be your top three, four returners from 2005 to 2017-18?

If you look at the [average yards-per-return] with even being suspended I had more yards than Devin Hester.”Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones

Jones’s argument for his induction into the Canton, Ohio Pro Football Hall of Fame is simple. He believes simply that since Hester is getting buzz for a potential Hall of Fame selection, he deserves it too. Despite Hester having Three more All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, Jones still makes a case. All off-the-field issues aside, PacMan claims that he was the second-best, if not the best kick returner during his time in the NFL. Let’s see how the numbers stack up to his claim.

PacMan vs. his competition

Before looking at other significant return men from his era, we must establish a base with PacMan’s numbers. In his career, Jones returned 192 punts, amassing 1,947 yards (10.14 yards/return). He also cashed in five touchdowns off of punts. As far as kick returns go, Jones returned 132 kickoffs for 3,232 yards (25.86 yards/return). However, none of Jones’s 132 kickoff returns went for a touchdown. Overall, he had some pretty respectable stats.


First, we have to compare Jones to Devin Hester, arguably the greatest return specialist in NFL history. Hester returned 315 punts for 3,695 yards (11.73 yards/return). He also returned an NFL record of 14 punts for touchdowns. For kickoffs, Hester netted 7,333 yards on 295 kicks (24.86 yards/return), also sending five of them to the house. Although, as Jones said, he does outdo Hester by 1 yard/return on average, however, he gets blown out of the water by Hester in every other statistic.

It would be unfit to talk about return men of the 21st century without mentioning Darren Sproles. He returned 311 punts in his career for 2,961 yards (9.52 yards/return), with seven going for touchdowns. Sproles took back 332 kicks for 8,352 yards (25.16 yards/return) on kickoffs, taking two all the way back for six points. Like Hester, Sproles has a lot more volume than PacMan, despite failing to average more yards per kick return than him. Jones numbers stack up surprisingly well to Sproles.

Jacoby Jones was another great return man from this era. He holds a record for the longest play in Super Bowl history, returning a kickoff for a 108-yard touchdown. Jacoby returned 276 punts for 2,688 yards (9.74 yards/return), taking four to the house. He also returned 183 kickoffs for 3,940 yards (26.99 yards/return), taking five of them back for touchdowns. PacMan may have slightly better punt return numbers than him, but Jacoby’s kick return average significantly outshines PacMan’s numbers.

There are a few more that I could include, like Cordarrelle Patterson, Julian Edelman, or Percy Harvin. However, they all tell the same story about Jones as those above. While PacMan may have a leg up on certain other return specialists here or there, they also have him beat in different categories as well. Thus, PacMan’s numbers don’t exactly stand out like typical Hall of Famers do. Overall, he does have solid numbers from his career, but are they enough to overcome his baggage and earn him a shot at entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame?