March 15, 2005

So Long, Tebucky: Saints cut safety Jones, who signs with Miami

The Saints have ended the Tebucky Jones experiment by releasing their starting free safety and tackles leader days before he was due a large roster bonus.

Too large to play cornerback and not quick enough to react to deep coverage, Jones was a dissappointment for the Saints in his two years. Lacking instincts in the passing and too often failing to wrap up, Jones did possess excellent speed and was able to minimize big plays for the defense.

Jones' replacement was written in stone when the Saints inked Tampa Bay free agent safety Dwight Smith, who was named immediately as the team's starting free safety, replacing Jones.

The Saints acquired Jones from the Patriots before the 2003 season. The Saints sent third and seventh round picks in 2003 and a fourth-round pick in 2004 for Jones, 31, who started all but one game in his two years as the Saints' starter at free safety.

The Saints released Jones only after the Miami Dolphins flirted with trading for Jones. When Miami eventually refused to agree, the Saints had no choice but to release Jones before a $400,000 roster bonus was due.

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