FOXBORO -- The Patriots officially announced on Monday that they had released veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, defensive end Will Smith and linebacker James Anderson. That news had been reported over the weekend, but there was one more name added to that list of those cut: undrafted rookie tight end Justin Jones.
Jones originally signed with New England days after the draft in May and was released on Aug. 10. Eight days later, the 6-foot-8 277-pound target was re-signed to help fill out the paper-thin depth chart at the position.
The Patriots now have three tight ends under contract: Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and Steve Maneri. Both Gronkowski and Hoomanawanui have been recovering from injuries lately, leaving many of the tight-end responsibilities to Maneri over the course of the last two preseason games. Fullback James Develin, who has worked out with tight ends during Patriots practices, has also helped fill the void at that spot.
The Patriots have until Tuesday to cut their roster down to 75 players.