The Patriots have opened up a spot on their 53-man roster, cutting safety and special-teamer Don Jones, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jones will become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign anywhere, if he goes unclaimed on waivers.
Jones, 24, spent last season with the Dolphins, but was waived by the team this year following roster cutdowns at the end of the preseason. The former seventh-round pick was claimed off waivers by the Patriots, and has played exclusively on special teams for New England in 2014, contributing seven tackles in kick and punt coverage.
As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes (via Twitter), in confirming the transaction, Jones had been a key special teams player for the Patriots, so his release is an unexpected move that raises questions about why it happened. The safety was fined by the Dolphins and excused from the team back in May after making inappropriate comments on Twitter about Rams draftee Michael Sam, but hasn’t been in the news since then.