FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have re-signed RB Kenjon Barner. The Patriots also signed DE John Simon. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
In addition, the Patriots placed LB Ja’Whaun Benetley and RB Rex Burkhead on injured reserve.
The Patriots also signed DB David Jones to the practice squad and released WR Jace Billingsley from the practice squad.
Barner, 29, was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 11, 2018 and then released on Sept. 19. The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oregon. Barner was most recently with the Carolina Panthers through training camp this summer and has also had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers. He has appeared in 44 regular-season games with one start and totaled 77 rushing attempts for 317 yards with three touchdowns and 21 receptions for 127 yards. He has also returned 30 punts for 259 yards and 22 kickoffs for 498 yards. Barner has appeared in four postseason contests as a reserve and tallied one punt return for 10 yards and five kickoffs for 115 yards.
Simon, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with Baltimore (2013), Houston (2014-16) and Indianapolis (2017). The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder was released by Indianapolis on Sept. 1, 2018. Simon originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (129th overall) by Baltimore out of Ohio State in the 2013 NFL Draft. He began his second NFL season on the Baltimore practice squad before being signed to the Houston 53-man roster. He joined Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. Simon has played in 54 NFL games with 22 starts and has 99 total tackles, 13 sacks, one interception that he returned 26 yards for a touchdown, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Last season in Indianapolis, Simon started all nine games that he played in and finished with 27 total tackles, three sacks and one interception.
Jones, 24, was originally signed by New England as a rookie free agent out of Richmond on May 5, 2017. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder spent his rookie season on the Patriots practice squad. He was released by New England on July 23, 2018.
Billingsley, 25, has had two separate stints on the New England practice squad in 2018. The 5-foot-9, 189-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Detroit out of Eastern Oregon on May 6, 2016. Billingsley has spent time on the Lions practice squad and 53-man roster in his first two seasons and appeared in two games in 2017. He did not accrue any statistics. Billingsley was released Detroit on Sept. 1, 2018.