BOSTON (CBS) — Cyrus Jones is back with the New England Patriots.
According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots have signed their 2016 second-round pick off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Jones was released by New England as part of their final roster cuts earlier this month, but is now back in the fold as the Patriots look for someone to return punts.
New England has reportedly given Jones a two-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jones never quite lived up to the hype as a dynamic return man after the Patriots drafted him 60th overall out of Alabama. He battled fumbling issues his rookie season and never cracked New England’s defensive lineup in the secondary. Jones appeared in 10 games and returned 11 punts and eight kickoffs during his rookie campaign, averaging 22.5 yards on his kickoff returns.
There was hope he would bounce back with a big sophomore season, but Jones missed all of the 2017 season after tearing his ACL in the final game of the preseason. He returned kicks during this past preseason and saw time as New England’s nickle corner, but was released on cutdown day.
Now he’s back, as the Patriots have struggled to find a punt returner over the first two weeks of the 2018 season. Riley McCarron was released after a Week 1 fumble, and the Pats had Patrick Chung and Cordarrelle Patterson fielding punts Sunday against the Jaguars (and in one instance, had no one standing back to field a punt). But with Chung now dealing with a concussion, New England saw the need to bring Jones back for another shot.
Per NFL rules, Jones has to be on New England’s 53-man roster for three weeks. To make room for the Jones reunion, the Patriots have cut running back Kenjon Barner, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.