Colts cut 6 Jones now third QB

Shawn Jones flitted out of the NFL last month, eager to take his chances in the Canadian Football League as a reborn quarterback.

Yesterday, he was rewarded for the risk.


When the CFL Colts cut reserves Mike Pawlawski and Bobby Goodman, Jones assumed the role of third quarterback. That means he has a spot on the 10-man practice squad behind Tracy Ham and John Congemi. And it suits Jones just fine.

"At some point in life, you've got to pay dues," Jones, 24, said. "I'm paying my dues, so to speak.


"I'll try to get better every day, and gain as much knowledge watching Tracy and Ace [Congemi] as I can. They're willing to help."

The Colts released six players yesterday, and welcomed two new offensive linemen to camp, to set the roster at 53. All CFL teams were required to trim down to 55 yesterday.

Also cut were former NFL receiver Joe Howard-Johnson, rookie receiver Reggie Perry, rush end Cornell Collier and punter Robert Sims.

Perry (finger) and Collier (shoulder) were waived injured, and will be rehabilitated by the team.

Jones, 6 feet 1 and 200 pounds, quarterbacked Georgia Tech to a share of the 1990 national championship and was the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time leader in total offense with 9,296 yards. He spent the 1993 season on the Minnesota Vikings' practice roster as a free safety.

Last month, he jumped to the CFL for a chance to play quarterback again. "If I say I'll do something, I will stick with it," Jones said. "I worked to get the opportunity to play quarterback. Now I have it, and I'm not going to turn my back on it."

The choice of Jones over Pawlawski caught some by surprise, though. Pawlawski, 24, who spent a year on injured reserve with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, traveled with the team but did not play in Friday's exhibition opener at Shreveport, La., while Jones remained behind.

"Pawlawski is probably a little ahead right now," Matthews said. "But Shawn Jones is a better projection."


All three CFL rookies -- Jones, Pawlawski and Goodman -- were hampered in the early stages of training camp by injuries.

"It never got to be clear-cut with any of them," Matthews said. "I projected down the road with all three. Sean Jones fits the job description a little better than the other two."

Jim Popp, director of player personnel for the Colts, said the Las Vegas Posse had expressed interest in Pawlawski. "He can go to a team right now and play as a backup," Popp said. "And Goodman would be a good project for somebody to work with. He just missed too much time [with a pulled hamstring]."

The decision to cut Howard-Johnson was based more on his age (31) than his performance.

"He had to be a starter on this team because of his age," Matthews said. "He was good enough to play, but I don't have him projected as a starter."

The departure of Sims awards the punting job to Josh Miller, brought in two weeks ago. Miller averaged 45.9 yards for eight punts in Friday's 33-18 triumph over the Shreveport Pirates.