Updated: 1/18/12, 5:10 p.m.
It looks like the fate of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer won't be known until next week, the earliest the Buccaneers are expected to name a head coach.
On Tuesday, Zimmer interviewed for the Tampa Bay job vacated by the firing of Raheem Morris. That was same day he was ruled out of the Dolphins head coaching search. The Bucs have had several waves of interviews, starting with former head coaches Marty Schottenheimer, Brad Childress and Mike Sherman. Then they moved on to highly-regarded coordinators, such as Zimmer, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, and Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. They've also checked out Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and there are indications they plan to talk to Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, tied up this week for the NFC title game.
JONES RESOLVES CASE: Cornerback Adam Jones, who is heading into NFL free agency, did clear up one looming offseason question Wednesday when he reached a plea agreement to resolve last July's incident in a downtown Cincinnati bar.
According to various reports, Jones pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree misdemeanor in exchange for a resisting arrest charge being dropped. Jones was accused of being disorderly and shouting profanities at a downtown bar and trying to pull away as officers arrested him. Jones pleaded not guilty to both charges and said he was coming to the defense of his fiancée.
"I was just trying to protect someone that I love. I put it on myself. I just apologize to the officers and the people at the Justice Center," Jones told a judge Wednesday. "I truly realize I could have handled it better."
Jones was sentenced to one-year probation, a 30-day suspended jail sentence, and was ordered to perform 50 hours community service.
Jones is one of several players on a Bengals defense that is headed to free agency, but there won't be any moves on that front until Zimmer's foray into head coaching opportunities is resolved.
With the emergence of Brandon Ghee, the return of injured Leon Hall, and the speculation that the 17th pick in the draft is ticketed for a cornerback, it is unclear if the Bengals are going to pursue re-signing Jones if Zimmer returns.
"Adam has handled this issue in a responsible manner, and we support both the legal system and his efforts to put this behind him," Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan said.
Another unknown is a possible suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Jones is one of eight players that the NFL Players Association said could be punished for off-field incidents during the lockout.
On Wednesday, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "Like any matter of this nature, it will be reviewed under our personal conduct policy."