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Patriots Sign a Receiver: Thoughts on Donald Jones Signing

Some thoughts on the Patriots signing of ex-Bills receiver Donald Jones.

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The New England Patriots have added another piece to their arsenal on offense, agreeing to a three year contract with former Bills wide receiver Donald Jones.

Jones, 25, enjoyed his best season as a pro for the Bills in 2012. Jones played in 12 games, starting 10, and recorded 41 receptions for 443 yards and four touchdowns. He was targeted a total of 67 times. 25 of his 41 receptions also resulted in first down conversions.

While his yard per catch numbers weren’t too impressive last season (10.8), he does have some speed in additional to a solid frame. At the combine in 2010, Jones ran a 4.46 40 time. He also racked up 20 bench press reps, a vertical of 41 inches, and a 9’11” broad jump.

He hasn’t exactly been a big play guy since entering the NFL, but the potential is certainly there. Of course, that potential was showcased against the Patriots on several occasions. Every time he played New England, he seemed to have a career day.

Considering his age, athleticism, and potential, I like this deal for the Patriots – assuming the numbers are reasonable (which I fully expect them to be). Jones isn’t the type of player that will make or break the offense, but it’s not out of the question to think the Patriots can get more out of him than the Bills did with an offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

As for the potential impact this has on Brandon Lloyd - I’m not so sure this move edges him out. I see Jones as more of a number three or four receiver, and Lloyd as a number two. The Patriots could very well be looking to upgrade Lloyd’s spot and move on (despite reports of them re-negotiating that deal) – but I don’t see Donald Jones as the guy to do that.