Cornerback Cyrus Jones’ tumultuous New England Patriots tenure has come to an end.
The Patriots on Saturday waived Jones as they trimmed their roster from 90 players to 53, a source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
Jones was the Patriots’ top draft pick in 2016 (60th overall). He endured a miserable rookie season both on defense and, especially, in the return game, then missed the entire 2017 season after tearing his ACL last August.
The 24-year-old Alabama product returned to the practice field late in training camp and was able to play in the Patriots’ final two preseason games, garnering praise from head coach Bill Belichick after each.
Speaking on a conference call one day after Thursday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants, Belichick said Jones “absolutely” looked the explosive athlete he had been before his injury.
“(Friday) will mark a year since my injury,” Jones told reporters after that game, which the Patriots won 17-12. “It’s been a long process. I’ve put in a lot of work. A lot of people have helped me out along the way, and it felt really good to get back out there through a whole game and see how my knee held up for a whole game. I thought it was a solid performance.”
Jones had been competing with rookie cornerbacks Keion Crossen and J.C. Jackson and veteran Jason McCourty, among others, for a roster spot.
The Patriots also reportedly cut defensive tackle Vincent Valentine, a 2016 third-round pick who, like Jones, missed all of last season with an injury. Just three players remain from New England’s nine-man 2016 draft class: guard Joe Thuney (third round), linebacker Elandon Roberts (sixth) and guard/center Ted Karras (sixth).
New England can place Jones and/or Valentine on its practice squad if either passes unclaimed through waivers.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images