Patriots gridiron news: Jonathan Jones impressive in more ways than one

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Jonathan Jones
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Jonathan Jones /

New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones has become an important contributor this season, earning praise from Bill Belichick.

Every season, a player steps up for the New England Patriots and contributes more than expected.  This season, one of those players is second-year cornerback Jonathan Jones.

Not only has he taken advantage of the opportunity given to him due to injuries to both Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe, he has earned his spot inside Bill Belichick’s praise house.

In the team’s 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Jones was a major contributor on the defensive side of the ball.  Playing 85.2 percent of the defensive snaps, Jones further established his role as the No. 3 corner giving up just 46 receiving yards on five catches.  He also recorded a career-high nine tackles and had a very impressive sack.

While his play all season long as been solid, Jones further impressed Belichick with his ability to get to the quarterback untouched.

"“I thought Jon made a real good play on that,” Belichick said during his weekly conference call.  “He did an excellent job of breaking down and making the play.  A lot of times when players come free like that, whether it’s a corner or secondary players, or sometimes linebackers, they just want to go in there and go for the big hit, and then the quarterback sees him at the last second, and they go right by and miss him.  The most important thing is to get the quarterback, get him down, and Jon did a good job of that.”"

On that particular play, Belichick was most impressed with the discipline Jones displayed to complete the play going at such a high speed.  It takes timing and he showed he has what it takes to make those types of plays going forward.

Add that to his coverage skills and Jonathan Jones may become a valuable performer towards the end of the season and into the playoffs.

Patriots sign Nicholas Grigsby and Jason King 

The New England Patriots made a couple of roster moves on Tuesday.

With two roster spots open following the team moving Martellus Bennett and Nate Ebner to season-ending IR, the Patriots announced that they have signed LB Nicholas Grigsby and OL Jason King.

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 27: Linebacker Nicholas Grigsby
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 27: Linebacker Nicholas Grigsby /

Both players will provide depth to the 53-man roster as the team is experiencing some bumps and bruises following the win over the Miami Dolphins.

Grigsby, 25, was signed from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.  The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker initially entered the league as a free agent rookie out of Pittsburgh in 2016.  Signed by the Los Angeles Rams, he spent his first season between the practice squad and the 53-man roster of the Rams.

The team released him prior to the 2017 regular season.  Following the release, he joined the Ravens practice squad in mid-September.  He should provide the team with some depth at the linebacker position as well as special teams.

More from Chowder and Champions

King, 24, is a 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman who originally signed with the team as a rookie free agent back in May.  He was with the team through training camp before being cut prior to the start of the season.  He did spend some time on the team’s practice squad before being released and joining the Ravens practice squad.  His familiarity with the team should help him step in and provide depth along the offensive line.

Eric Lee signed through 2018

Recently signed defensive end Eric Lee will not only remain with the team through this season, but is also signed through 2018.

The Patriots signed Lee off the Buffalo Bills practice squad last week.  Not only did he produce in his debut with the Patriots by recording a sack, he earned praise from head coach Bill Belichick.

"“I think given the circumstances that he played in, he did a really good job for us,” Belichick said, via ESPN.  “We’ll see if he can build on that this week and see where that takes us.  I’m not sure, but it was good to have him.”"

Next: New England Patriots: 5 observations from win over Dolphins

Time will tell for Eric Lee, but he certainly made a good impression for himself so far.