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Bill Belichick closes door on any potential Jack Jones reunion

Sports Final: Christian Fauria says the Patriots can no longer start Mac Jones at quarterback
Sports Final: Christian Fauria says the Patriots can no longer start Mac Jones at quarterback 04:00

BOSTON -- Often in New England, a Patriots player gets cut from the team, only to stick around with the practice squad after clearing waivers.

That, however, won't be happening with Jack Jones, who was waived on Monday. Head coach Bill Belichick made that clear on Tuesday morning.

Belichick was asked if the second-year cornerback might join the practice squad, and his answer was definitive.

 "Uh, no," Belichick said.

Belichick's other answers to questions about Jones didn't always provide the same level of clarity.

"Just feel like it's time to move on," Belichick said. 

When asked if the decision was more based on performance of off-the-field disciplinary reasons, Belichick repeated himself.

"I felt like it was time to move on," Belichick said. 

Did something in particular happen in Germany that led to the decision?

"No," Belichick said. "Not really."

What was different from a week ago -- when Jones was benched to start the Patriots' game against the Commanders -- that led to this decision?

"Yeah, I just felt like this was the time," he said.

Did you feel your message was not getting through to him?

"I felt like it was time to move on," he said. 

With Jack Jones now gone, the Patriots' 2022 draft class has taken another hit. Cole Strange (first round, 29th overall), Tyquan Thornton (second round, 50th overall) and Marcus Jones (third round, 85th overall) remain on the team, though Thornton has 262 receiving yards in two seasons, and Marcus Jones played just two games this year before getting injured. The back half of the draft -- starting with Jack Jones at 121st overall -- has a series of misses. Considering Jones had some red flags coming out of college, Belichick was asked if he believes he or the team missed anything when it came to the pre-draft evaluation of Jones.

"Yeah well, Jack's a talented player. He showed that when he played for us at times," Belichick said. "But in the end I just felt like we needed to move on. But he's a talented player."

With Jones now out of the picture, the Patriots have J.C. Jackson (for now) and Jonathan Jones as their top two cornerbacks, followed by Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade on the depth chart. They also have the recently added Alex Austin on the active roster, as well as Azizi Hearn and Breon Borders on the practice squad. Jackson's spot on the roster may be just as tenuous as Jones' was, after Jackson was sent home from the team last week, missing practices and the trip to Germany to play the Colts.

When it comes to playing time the rest of the way, Belichick made his philosophy clear.

"I'll play players that deserve to play. Just put it that way. If they deserve to play, then I'll play 'em," he said. "I'm not gonna play somebody that I don't think deserves to play or that will hurt the team or isn't ready to play. So that's up to them. If they show that they're ready and deserve to play, then we'll play all the active players."

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