Patriots Sign Two, Gramatica and Jones

The Patriots found a kicker to replace Adam Vinatieri. It is not a name many of the experts pegged to fill the role for the 2006 season. New England announced the signing of place kicker Martin Gramatica today. The team also announced the signing of former first-round draft pick safety Tebucky Jones today.

Foxborough, Mass. -- The New England Patriots announced the signing of free agent safety Tebucky Jones, and unrestricted free agent kicker Martin Gramatica

Gramatica, 30, was out of football last season, and last played for the Indianapolis Colts in 2004. Originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft (80th overall), he played for the Buccaneers from 1999-2004 when he was released midway through a disappointing season. He later joined Indianapolis to handle kickoff duties for the remainder of the 2004 season.

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound former Kansas State product has a 76.5% accuracy for field goal attempts and a 98.9% accuracy for extra points over his career.

Gramatica replaces the recently departed Adam Vinatieri who joined the Indianapolis Colts as an unrestricted free agent. Although Gramatica brings veteran experience, his absence from football during the 2005 NFL season may lead the team to sign additional kickers to compete with him during camp.

Kicker Martin Gramatica #10 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a kick against the Carolina Panthers during the game at Bank of America Stadium on November 28, 2004 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 21-14. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)

Jones, 31, was an unrestricted free agent last with the Miami Dolphins. The nine-year veteran was originally selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft (22nd overall). He played for the team from 1998-2002.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Connecticut native played for the Miami Dolphins in 2005, after two spending seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He played six games for Miami before suffering a season ending injury. The Dolphins placed him on injured reserve October 25, 2005.

He will add veteran depth to a Patriots roster that has been decimated by injury the last two seasons. Jones becomes the third defender the team has signed during free agency. The others are safety Mel Mitchell and cornerback Eric Warfield.

Tight end Stephen Alexander #82 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by Tebucky Jones #24 of the Miami Dolphins on September 11, 2005 at Dolphin Stadium, in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Broncos 34-10. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


Related: Gramatica Profile || Jones Profile || What fans are saying

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