Patriots release receiver Donald Jones

Patriots release receiver Donald Jones
July 19, 2013, 9:15 pm
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The Patriots announced on Friday that they had released wide receiver Donald Jones, the former Bills pass-catcher who New England acquired as a free agent in the offseason.

Jones struggled through injuries in Buffalo, but was productive when he got on the field. The 25-year old caught 41 balls for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns in 12 games last season. The Patriots of course have plenty of question marks in the area of pass catchers at this moment, as the top 5 receivers on last year's team are either no longer with the squad or unlikely to start at season's opening kickoff.

Still, Jones was reportedly due a $200,000 bonus for showing up to training camp and he's at best an average receiver in this league. As NFL Network's Albert Breer noted, if, before training camp, the Pats had doubts about the player's ability, they weren't going to take that financial hit.

"The simple fact is, he probably wasn't good enough to make the team, and if you decide right before training camp that the guy's not good enough to make the team, you're not going to write that $200,000 check."

If fans think that Jones could be a significant loss this upcoming season, even his former team would disagree. After all, the Bills could've kept Jones on the roster for minimal money and still decided to let him go.

"The Buffalo Bills could've simply tendered this guy at a very low financial rate just to keep him, hold on to right of first refusal with this player," Breer said. "[But] they decided not to do that and then they turned around and drafted two receivers in April in Jonathan Goodwin and Robert Woods. So the Bills didn't think enough of him to keep him in at a very, very low rate."

With this context, maybe Jones' dismissal is not entirely surprising. In fact, his release further opens up the possibilities for the Pats to find a spot on the roster for Michael Jenkins, a player who is reportedly already a favorite of Tom Brady's.

So, all in all, not a huge deal. Then again, this group of pass-catchers could use all the help it could get.